Anxiety’s Inherent Truth-Editing

I had a mild-medium anxiety attack this morning. I never know to gauge those. If I say it was mild, does that mean it didn’t really happen? If I say it was extreme, does that mean I can’t say anything was worse than?

I type this as I’m on spring break. Although breaks are great for most people (and I am SO GLAD to have a break), being out of routine is rul hard for me (not a typo; say it out loud). I miss my bed. I miss my gym. I miss my kitchen. I miss my predictable time to get up and go to bed and eat lunch and leave work and do dishes. Doesn’t mean I’m not super grateful to hang out with my family and wear my athleisure all day, every day. It just means I’m better on routines. 

I could blame a lot of different things for my anxiety attack this morning: being 2 lbs up on the scale (WOE IS MEEEE), not grading that one assignment, being out of routine, not getting up early enough to feel like I’m a productive human being. But like. Are any of those things a big deal?

No. They are not. 

Even though I feel like they’re a big deal? mmm this is where it gets murky. The underlying issue, though, is that the aforementioned lines of thinking become the defining lines of my value. I’m a terrible person because I’m 2 lbs up, I’m lazy and not productive for not grading that assignment, I’m a waste of space for being out of routine, and I’m basically the worst for not getting up early enough. Sounds so dumb when typed out that way. Most anxious lines of thinking are dumb so….

Another interesting thing about anxieties is that they are awful selective about evidences. It’s like my brain picks and chooses which truths to latch onto and which to ignore altogether. For example, the following are all true. Only the underlined is retained without any effort. 

  • I am up 2 lbs from my lowest weight in over two years. I’ve been exercising every day since being home, eating better than I have in a long time, and feel good. Also, two different people have mentioned that I look slimmer in the past 24 hours
  • I have been getting up later than normal since break started which is great because I have been mentally and physically exhausted for like two weeks. It’s great that I can sleep!
  • I didn’t get all the grading done I wanted to yesterday  because I spent extra time figuring out a coding problem. But I figured it out! And I also finished grading all of the items for 4/5 classes. So. 
  • I’m out of routine  and it’s because I’m not at work; I’m not even in the same state! Instead, I’m spending time with my family, 
  • I’m not writing for my blog every day and that’s. O. Kay. Like it’s fine. WHY WOULD IT NOT BE. I haven’t felt like writing and I promised myself I would not make writing a burden, so I’m actually doing what I’m supposed to be doing. 
  • I’m not being as productive as I should be during this break but I have no idea what being more productive looks like. Exercising, grading, prepping for next week, writing, learning a new skill, spending time with family, cooking, um? My personal standards for productivity are so high that I don’t even know what they are.

I sure hope, dear reader, that you’re having an amazing day today. But if you’re not, I encourage you to write out what’s bugging you the way that I did above. Write all the truth. Don’t allow anxiety, fear, or self-deprecating vicious thoughts alter your paradigm. There’s more truth. Look for it and believe it. All of it.