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Feeling Extremely Anxious And Wanting To Hide

Posted Nov 10 2009 4:46am

This morning is an anxiety day.  I woke feeling as if something were wrong.  Something was waiting to happen and I needed to stop it before it did.  A kind of mystery thriller movie my brain was playing just for me.  Nothing was wrong, though.  Everything was in the right place.  Family members were all healthy and in their proper places.  Ratties were chipper, the cats hadn't destroyed anything in the night.  All on the outside was good.  So my brain whispered, "it must be something going wrong with you." New fears.  Am I sick?  Am I getting sick?  Has the Crohn's done something new?  Little aches and pains that normally mean nothing took on new significance.  Does this mean a flare up?  What does this mean?  What is happening? 

There was a deep desire to curl up in bed, grab a brain candy book and hide from the day.  I've done that in the past.  You can't escape anxiety.  It comes to find you.  It crawls under the blankets and slithers up your spine and wraps around your head and whispers nasty things in your ear.  "Something is wrong," it whispers.  "Something horrible.  Something so terrible that you can't even comprehend and it's going to happen right......NOW!"

This morning I have no time or desire to deal with anxiety.  I am working hard at pushing it out of my head and leave it behind.  My body is taking a while to get the message.  I am so tense my forearms and hands actually hurt.  I feel hyper alert.  Everything is done in quick motions.  My fingers are literally bouncing along the keyboard as I type.  But, the keeping myself on a path, moving from one task to the next is helping.  Routine helps me.  Contact with people through out the day helps.  Music helps, writing helps, drawing and other activities that pulls me into right brain mindlessness helps.

Different things work for individuals.  A long time ago when I was coming to terms with Autism and what goes along with it I had a therapist who told me to "Name my anxiety." I stared out her and then asked, "You mean like George or something?" (I tend to take things literally.  They say it is because of the Autism, I think it's because people just aren't clear about what they mean when they speak.)
The long suffering therapist sighed and said, "No.  Somethng like fear, or want, or loneliness."
"Those aren't good names.  They are depressing." I answered.
"Okay.  Let's try something else." She said.  She said that a lot when she was workng with me.
Later on I realized that she had wanted me to identify the emotions that were behind the anxiety.  What was making me anxious.  Up until then it was just plain old anxiety.  When I tried to figure out if it was the fear of loneliness, (never had been an issue up until that point) or the fear of depression (hadn't been afriad of that either) the fear of being lost, sick, alone, aliens, spiders in my shoe, kitchen utensils disapearing (which is Katy's fear, not mine)  or what ever else was on that horrible little list I found the anxiety just ramped up because now I had actual fears to go with them. 
However, this does work for some people.  By identifying the feeling behind the anxiety they can address it and then work on it.  It was the opposite for me. First came the anxiety and then I would throw a bunch of fears at it to see which one would stick.  Problem was, they all stuck.  And then invited friends. 
So, today, I will just accept that I am dealing with anxiety, the same way others have to deal with migrains or gout or an invasion of ants.  I'll turn on some music and do what I normally do and just work my way through it.  I'll do things with a bit more focus and a lot more depth to take me away from the anxiety and I know that as the day goes on it will lift and get better.  Unless the aliens really do show up.
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