Everything triggered my anxiety last week. EVERYTHING. I wondered throughout the week why I, someone who has anxiety, PTSD, depression (all the things really), would choose the path I have. To move into an RV, travel the country with my husband, dog (with anxiety), and our two cats. So much change!
What was I thinking? My brain screamed at me all last week as I was struggling to find enough time in the day to get all of the things done. And there was NEVER enough time last week. We had to leave on Saturday. There was no wiggle room; come hell or high water, we had to be on the road Saturday.
I failed at getting everything done. That DEFINITELY triggered my anxiety. Oh, I got things sort of, kind of, to the best of my ability done, but I left so many loose ends. Which means I failed. I wanted everything wrapped up in this lovely little package, with a bow and everything.
That expectation, the perfectly wrapped, perfectly completed, doesn’t exist; we are all taught that perfectionist belief. It is such crap because it isn’t REAL. But it doesn’t matter to my brain, my anxiety. No, it doesn’t matter at all that I am trying to achieve the unachievable.
Last week was the proof that my brain, my anxiety needed to show me that I am a failure.
I didn’t post anything on this blog last week. I failed at that too. That triggered my anxiety, which then told me that I am a failure.
This blog is essential to me, and I let it slide last week. I simply did not have the time. And I couldn’t sit with myself long enough to delve into my anxiety to write. Still, my brain, my anxiety, tell me I failed.
Fiery Ball of Death
Once my brain, my anxiety gets on the ‘Talia is a failure train’ destination Failuresville, it’s full steam ahead. Let’s look at the future things that I could fail. You know, cause there isn’t enough anxiety already vibrating throughout my brain.
Thus begins the ‘what if’ game. What if driving the RV drives it off the road or gets into an accident because I can’t do anything right? What if I overcorrect with causes the tow vehicle to serpentine and pulling the RV into a spin, and losing control. And on and on it goes.
Did I mention that I have never driven anything close to forty-five feet long? It doesn’t matter to my brain that I (we) are learning a new skill, which is anxiety-inducing all by itself. No, all my brain, my anxiety wants to show me are pictures of me screwing up so badly that we all end up in a fiery ball of death along the roadside.
Why Torture Myself?
All the while getting ready or attempting to get ready last week, and while on the road for three days, I kept asking myself ‘why?’ Why am I going on an adventure, in a new place every couple of weeks in what is basically a house on wheels, with which anything can go wrong at a moment’s notice?
Thinking of all of the things that can go wrong triggers my anxiety to the point of paralyzing fear. And yet, here I am, doing things that trigger me. Why?
I can’t write that I have an answer because I am learning that there is never one answer to anything. It is a confluence of swirls that create a picture of what kind of looks like an answer. And this is mine.
Push Through Anxiety
I have been mentally overpowering my anxiety my entire life. It is like pushing through the heavy plastic sheeting of anxiety. I imagine it is like the commercial, industrial strip doors used to separate areas in machine shops or slaughterhouses. Except my anxiety is not in strips, it is one solid, very thick piece of plastic.
I have to focus and concentrate on pushing that plastic barrier and getting to the other side. The other side isn’t anxiety-free. The other side has more anxiety. Because I am doing something new. And new things are wrought with new issues and things that can go wrong. All of those things are anxiety-inducing.
I didn’t know I was beating my anxiety into submission to move forward with my life. It was not healthy, and I drank a lot to drown out the anxiety because when I did that, my anxiety would spike to almost uncontrollable levels. I had to numb it so that I could keep controlling the anxiety. Or push it down so that I could keep moving forward.
Anxiety and Control
I will not allow my anxiety, depression, PTSD to dictate what I will or won’t do in my life. I have seen what happens when emotional states of being are allowed to dictate a person’s life choices. It isn’t really a life.
It’s a shell of a person going through life in a stunted, gnarled way. Not that you can see that from the outside. Most of those people look “normal” from the outside. But take a deeper look, and you will see the fear, the anxiety, and the sadness in them. I saw my mother go through life like that. She is still going through life like that.
When I watched her live without really living and hating every moment of her existence, I knew that I could not allow my anxiety to get the best of me. And I would push myself to do things that were so anxiety-inducing that I would disassociate. But I would do it. Even if I wasn’t “all there” for it, I still did it. And that is why I still push through, albeit in a healthier manner, to do things that my anxiety tells me I can’t.