So I have once before likened my anxiety to the frog in boiling water. You slowly get hotter and hotter and don’t realize you are boiling. When my anxiety just spikes out of nowhere I notice it as anxiety, and I try and use my tools to cope. Take deep breathes, do a grounding exercise, etc.
When it’s a problem is when I don’t notice how bad it’s getting. You may be thinking “If you don’t notice it, that’s a good thing, right?” Wrong. Because it starts affecting my everyday life. I “thought” I was relaxed in my job hunt, not worried about having graduated recently and found myself without a job to go to like a few of my classmates have. A few days ago, I realized this isn’t actually the case. I got a pimple on the back of my neck and thought, for a moment, it might be cancer.
Then looking backwards I realized that in the preceding week, I had”avoided stairs for fear of falling, started worrying about my trip to my friends in June-almost cancelling it, worrying about my trip in October, had 3 migraines( stress is a major trigger), been too worried about keeping up at my fitness class to attend, stressed about the appearance of my tattoo, thought I had Cancer, Breast Cancer, Brain Cancer, I can’t even recall what else I thought I had, been overly tired, stopped reading books, stopped planning visits with friends cause something might happen. Every day had been just a little bit worse, and I was at the edge of boiling, and hadn’t even realized it.
Just because I don’t notice my anxiety, doesn’t mean it goes away, or that it doesn’t affect me. One of the most powerful tools in my toolbox is labeling anxiety for what it is.
That was Monday, and this week I am trying to wind myself back down without having a complete meltdown, which is what I would generally do in this situation. I deliberately scheduled a few things, just because I know that despite the fact I will go nuts, I really do need to get out. So far I am still pretty on edge, and I am a bit more snapish that usually. Hopefully next week I will be back to a normal anxiety level.