Anxious Much?

by Chris Brain

AnxiousThis anxiety bullshit is bullshit.

We all experience it in one form or other. I’m sure there are fabulous evolutionary reasons for it. Saber-tooth tigers and such. Neat. I get it. What I don’t get is how, for me, somedays opening the mail or answering the phone can be my saber-tooth tiger.

I’m scared of spiders. Not to the point of paralysis, but bad enough. I know it’s an irrational fear, (actually, it is not as I know all spiders are out to get us) but I can’t shake it. It doesn’t have a profound effect on my life, other than the occasional squeal when I’m watching Bear Grylls. It’s the other everyday, run-of-the mill anxiety that manages to change how I live my life.

An example of this is going to the gym. I was surprised to discover some time ago I enjoyed going to the gym. I liked the challenge. I liked the measurable improvement. I even liked the pain the next day. It felt like achievement. Now, I have built up an anxiety around going. I don’t know what it is but the thought of walking in freaks me the fuck out. I’ve made a couple of tentative forays back in but I’m yet to get back in the groove.

Shortly after making a couple of easy gym visits I fell over the dog and sprained my foot. Resting it for a bit seemed wise. Now, I have a bit of a head cold, so resting me seems wise. The fact is, in the past I wouldn’t have used these excuses. I would have made it in and done something.

This is a comparatively trivial example and there are many more serious ones that I won’t regale you with right now but, it still casts a long shadow. The infamous self-talk gets a hold and it has a field day with failure to do something that is not only good for me but something I enjoy.

Just go. Why won’t you go? What are you afraid of? You haven’t been for such a long time. You’ll probably feel sick and the people there will look at you. You didn’t go yesterday what’s the point of going today? Who do you think you are, trying to look better?

Great conversation. Do pop over again for tea and scorn.

Guilt. Guilt about not going. Guilt about feeling anxious about such a silly thing. Guilt about feeling guilty, for fucks sake. It’s exhausting. I know it’s about pointing myself in the right direction and taking little steps. I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT KNOWING!

I have a confession to make. Another one. I got worked up about writing this, stopped, had two beers and a large glass of wine before I could finish it. This is not ideal. In the interest of not talking myself down too much, in the past I would have limped and coughed my way down to the offey and bought some more.

I’m trying to deal with my anxiety (and the other shit too). Trying to figure out which thoughts are my propensity for laziness and which are the negative scripts I have running. Trying is good but a little success would be nice too.

Time for me to go. The saber-tooth tiger is ringing.


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