We’re All Mental

Let’s face it we are our own worst enemy!  I know there are many of us with this affliction.  We try to hide it, keep it under lock and key but the strange thing is others can often recognize it before we can see it in ourselves.  It robs us of simple pleasures, prevents us from participating in life and hinders us from stepping outside of our box.

We play these mental games with ourselves, then either pander ourselves out of doing things or admonishing ourselves for our failings.  Sickos – all of us!  Shame, shame, shame!

What is it? Anxiety Disorders.  OK, you may not be fully diagnosed with it but we all have various stages of this budding affliction.

I am notoriously one who is daring, willing to try things.  Bungee jumping, parasailing, snorkeling, spelunking – ok won’t be doing that one again any time soon, and even rapellng are not things for the faint of heart.  Instead of giving into peer pressure, I was the kid your parents warned you about.  Yes, I did daring stupid things.  Yes, I jumped off a roof.  Yes, I took a dare more often than I gave them.  but as I’ve gotten older and become responsible for the lives of others (parenting changes you – it really does), I’ve detected a line of thinking that is akin to an anxiety disorder.

My 17 year old daughter is getting ready to begin her senior year in high school – yeah!  Go Sarah!  However today she is nearly in a panic, because of the unknown.

She stated it like this: “When you’re going to do something that you’re nervous about it, it’s best to just do it and not think about it.  Sort of like getting on a roller coaster, you don’t think about the physics of the design of the roller coater, or the g-force, or how dangerous it is.  You just look at it and think – ooh, fun!”

Yeah, if we all could remember that!  However, when we face a new challenge our brains go into high gear and we over anazlye the situation, adding the terifying what ifs.   Choosing a new hairstyle, starting a new phase like starting college, starting a new job, making a career change, gonig to a different gym, taking a different route to work, they can all be intimidating.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a matter of anxiety disorder but fear.  It’s scary to step out sometimes but as you talk yourself out of it, you convince yourself it’s scary and not worth trying, therefore next time it’s easier to stay in your box.  Before you know it, the box has shrunk and your stuff has an inch of dust on it.

Yep, you know it, I’m a box smasher!  I come in like a tornado and rearrange the furniture, move your stuff, shift things “6 inches to the right”; sometimes tearing out an entire wall to expand a wing.  For those who think I never get scared – get real!  I just do it afraid.

Fake it till you make it, or never let them see you sweat. Either one works.  I know a person however, that over the years has let themseves be overwhelmed by the smallest of things, allowing their box to close in so that it’s such a cramped little affair there’s barely room to turn around.  It’s sad, really.

Now there are individuals who really do have anxiety disorders.  I have some of the symptoms that I will list below, but I don’t let it dominate my mind.  I ain’t dead yet, and I’ve got a lot more life to live.  In fact, I intend to live mine out loud!  If you’re not so bold and brazen maybe you could start with baby steps.  Wear a different color; it can be a huge shock to the system.  Smile at someone you don’t know – I know, shocking.  Try a new food – I don’t know, that could be risky.  Read this blog – omg  – we may be moving a little too fast.  One step at a time!

My point is that as we get older we are more prone to settle into routines. Routines then become ruts and before long the rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.  We allow worries and fears to dominate our thinking and before long we accept failure because we are afraid to try.  I don’t want to be that person.  It’s humorous to watchMr. Monk, but  in reality it would be a sad existence.  I know from personal aquaintance, the above mentioned person’s box is beginning to resemble a coffin.

So here’s what WEbMD has to say about it:

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

I’m sure we can all recognize some of those symptoms but it doens’t mean we need to run out and get a prescription for Xanax.  I rebel against the pharmaceutical companies need to overmedicate the world population when all we need to do is put on our big girl/ big boy pants and live life – to the fullest measure experiencing everything it can throw our way!  Just dodge the tomatoes.

Yeah, and some call me an adrenaline junkie as well!  It doesn’t matter though, I’m having a blast.

Write on my friends, write on!


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