So yesterday was one of those crash and burn kind of days where one tiny little thing triggered my anxiety just before lunch, and I spent the rest of the work day dealing with immense angst and physical discomfort. It was so uncontrollable. I tried deep breathing and prayer. I tried taking a break and walking around the building. I even tried sitting down at a piano in a back room somewhere and playing for a while. And while these things helped in the moment, it was that kind of tenacious, nagging anxiety that refuses to go away, no matter what you do.
In some ways I could say I handled it really poorly—I certainly allowed it to affect my mood, productivity, and interactions. But at the same time, I can see how it could have been worse. It didn’t completely tank me. I wanted to give up and go home, but I hung in there. And thinking back to a few months ago when an anxiety trigger had turned me into an inconsolable, crying mess in my office, I’m pretty grateful that it didn’t go that far yesterday.
So I am encouraged. I am encouraged that even on the days when I can’t control any of it, it still seems to be getting a bit better. I am encouraged that when I got home in the evening and focused my thoughts on other things, it dissipated relatively quickly. I am thankful that I was able to take a nice long walk outside in the evening, and that this really helped to clear my mind (as usual).
I think yesterday was a really great example of something I wrote about back in early February in Anxiety Symptoms: Those Tricky Tingles. I shared that sometimes anxiety symptoms just happen almost as a reflex, and I can’t let them control my actions or behaviours, even if I can’t seem to control them. There are going to be those times when I will just have to resolve to be okay with some discomfort for the moment, knowing and trusting that eventually it will pass.
Because it always does pass. Yesterday, though it was with me through the rest of my work day, it finally passed in the evening. Now, I will admit that this wasn’t where my mind was at yesterday afternoon when I felt like I was swimming (and nearly drowning) in my anxiety. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it would pass. In fact, I was more frustrated with the fact that it hadn’t passed yet. And I felt incapacitated by it.
And so, looking back on it, I am actually so thankful for the reminder. I need a little reminder every once in a while. I need to be reminded that it’s okay to feel not okay sometimes, as long as I remember that the feeling will pass and I will be okay again.
Today I feel great! I slept beautifully last night… without any Benadryl! And I am extremely thankful for that! It’s shaping up to be a good day, and I’m not going to let yesterday’s pesky anxiety symptoms creep into today and mess me up from the very beginning. And, even if they do somehow find their way in, I’m not going to give up. I’m going to push through and remember that the feelings will pass, and that tomorrow morning I’ll be reflecting on this day with gratitude.