Sunday, 24 October 2010

Thinking AND Doing!

I do feel like I've been able to both think AND do this weekend, even though I always tend to stress out and feel like I should have done more ...
I've been going through most of a commentary I'll be using for my upcoming paper, and I'm almost done with the translations I've been doing! Also cleaned most of my apartment and sorted through some stuff.

Generally though, I feel really tired! Not sure what's up with that - even though I guess a simple answer would be the fact that I really don't sleep well at night. I think I've just gotten used to my strange "night routine" (although it's not really a routine as it varies from night to night) that I don't even think about it being not-too-good - but I think that could explain why I always feel exhausted no matter what.
Not sure how to change it either unfortunately ...

My most recent thinking process has landed me with a bit of a new idea though! It started a couple of days ago but the more I think about it the more I think it is relevant.
Fact is, I'm doing SO much better now, in general terms, than I did some 3-4-5 years ago, it's almost hard to imagine what my life was like then. Unfortunately I have noticed though, that while I'm doing so much better, socially and with my anxiety, my life hasn't really been "working out well" lately anyway. And I actually think I may have found the explanations and reasons for that.
People living with anxiety problems will recognize this, I think, because when you're dealing with anxiety you're going through Hell. Not all, but some anxieties are also irrational - like mine were. Extreme fear of meeting people or talking to people is definitely irrational, and knowing that your fears are irrational makes them very difficult to deal with, because you have to deal with both the anxiety in itself as well as the knowledge that your fears are just "silly" and "not real". When you get out of that anxiety, it's like a drug!! When you realize you can live your life and do things and go places and talk to people and "it's okay", you don't feel terrified and have to muster all your strength to do it - it's fantastic, a feeling beyond description!
And believe me, because I've gone through that in recent years!!

The problem is, like with most drugs, that it's addictive!! Once you've been able to feel this way, you never want to let it go!
For me, that has meant actually not admitting or acknowledging that there are still things in my life I feel anxious about and get anxiety attacks over. Well, really huge things (like essay seminars!!) are not included in this - but smaller things. I think I try to oppress these things, for two reasons!! One is this "drug-effect", I DO NOT under any circumstances want to feel anxiety ever again, so if I pretend that these situations either don't exist at all, or that "they're not so bad", then I won't get an anxiety attack. The other reason is the fact that since I'm doing so well, it seems like there's a universal truth - for me as well as for others - that I don't have anxiety attacks any more.

The consequences of this for me has been that I tend to postpone or outright ignore things and situations that will cause anxiety!! It has not been uncommon for me to tell myself that things "aren't so bad" or that I can't let this-and-that take on such enormous proportions - all to avoid the anxiety. But when it comes to the crunch and there's no turning back, I have been completely overwhelmed and more times than not, I have not been able to go through with whatever it is.

I'm not saying that this is the ultimate solution to all my problems - but I think it does play a big part it in.
Soooo, now I'm trying really hard to allow myself to have anxiety attacks. I have beaten anxiety before, I still have the methods and means and motivation to cope - but I can't ignore the fact that it's there. Instead I have to acknowledge the anxiety and work through it, instead of avoiding it!
I have postponed a lot of things during the last year or so, some things have gotten more severe consequences than others, and I think basically that when I've felt uncomfortable with a situation, or felt that things didn't work out smoothly, I've felt like: "Well, I'll feel better about this tomorrow, or next week, I'll get on it then." Problem is, this is anxiety related and it will never feel better, unless I work with the anxiety - which of course I haven't!

Like I said, I'm not saying everything will work out perfectly from now on, but I do think I will be able to cope with my life better having thought of this. If I allow myself to feel bad and have anxiety I can work with that and still cope and get things done - instead of telling myself that I'll feel great just so long as I don't have anxiety! Sure it's great not to have anxiety, but if it means the rest of your life is going down the drain ... what's the point?

Wow, I really didn't think this would be such a "deep" entry - but it feels kind of good to have articulated this, not only in my personal diary but more openly as well.
I've gone back and read a little in this blog from when it started, during the fall of 2006 - and I was way more open with how I felt and dealt with different things then than I have been lately ... maybe I should go back to being a bit more open ....

Anyway - here's hoping these new thoughts will help me make next week work out in an acceptable way! :)

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