Like pain, anxiety is one of those things that you can’t properly remember if you aren’t actually experiencing it.  It’s so visceral and gripping.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to get re-acquainted with anxiety.  I forgot how involuntary it can be.  I could be consciously thinking about anything, even engrossed in conversation with a friend, when suddenly my ears start burning, my heart starts pounding, and I wonder if I’d better run to the bathroom because I might actually puke.

Consciously, I believe that I can handle it all.  I love my job, and I don’t resent being the manager who has to stay calm and absorb the anxieties of everyone else who needs to blow off steam during the workday.  I get satisfaction from seeing someone leave my office feeling noticeably better than when they came in.

But later, I wake up in the middle of the night with my pulse pounding in my ears, and I can’t get back to sleep without a shot of vodka.

There are other things, personal relationships, adding to the stress pile.  Nothing I can do to change that.  The relationships are what they are, and I just have to feel my way through them until they become clearer.

I’m coping by doing as little as possible on evenings and weekends.  The occasional outing to see a friend is healthy.  Otherwise, you’ll find me parked in front of the TV, giving my mind and body a neutral environment to rest in.  I told my volunteer position that I can’t take any shifts for the next few months.  I’m letting my husband do most of the housework.

I don’t anticipate any let-up in the stress for at least another few months.  But still, it’s only temporary.  I’ve survived worse.  I’ll make it through.

Posted by Sparkling Red on January 23rd, 2010
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