Overwhelmed and Paralyzed

It has been 15 days since my last post.  I’ve thought about writing everyday, and then something would steer my attention another direction and the day would go by without my pen to paper.  Before I knew it, it became “days” that had gone by since I last wrote and that is when the panic begins to set in.

Seems like it should be an easy thing to fix.  If I want to write I should just go write.  However the problem is that then I will go look at my stats and see that I’ve let things fall off, which means I have to work harder to get it back, and well honestly it just seems easier to ignore it.  Clearly that only makes things worse, which I know intellectually, but I ignore it anyway.

This same process happens with so many things in my life: bedtime, getting ready for work in the morning, Bible study, paying the bills, reaching out to friends, and on and on.  Writing this now I see I may have a problem.  Not to make lite of it, but really, I don’t think I noticed how many areas of my life this affected until I just let the words actually come out. (ok now this post is making me stress)

Is it anxiety?  Is it procrastination?  Is it just a lack of focus?  Part of me would say it’s just a plain need to focus.  But, while trying to understand what’s going on with me I found that anxiety is most likely the leading cause of the problem.  This made a lot of sense to me: “That’s what anxiety does: it makes it very hard to focus on anything other than your anxiety, and the more you focus on that anxiety, the more anxiety you seem to feel.” source And then it is impossible for me to have any other thoughts other than the fact I am feeling overwhelmed!

Oddly, I can seem to talk my daughter or a friend off the anxiety ledge, but when I get stuck out there I forget how to help myself.  I have several things I need to be accomplishing at the moment, but all of them are sitting here, stacked up next to me…staring at me…mocking me…yet I am trying to avoid any eye contact.

These tasks have been planned, so it’s not a lack of organization.  I’m awesome with creating a process, it’s the follow through that sometimes impedes me.  Chest pounding, hot flashes, reaching for any food near by to cram in my face.  I’m really sounding very crazy, even to myself.

Ok, so let’s slow it down.  How do I combat this issue?  How can I get myself out of this place of total paralysis and into action?  Here are some ideas I am going to try:

  • Slow, deep breathing.  Hand on my chest with my eyes closed, take several slow, deep breaths- not exhaling until there is nothing left in inhale.
  • JUST GET UP!!!  It is SO VERY EASY for me to be paralyzed and literally think away time.  Like when I need to get ready for work in the morning.  If I suddenly realize I read the news for 5 minutes too long I start to think “shit now I’m running late” and then the more I think about that fact I am running late, the later I then become because I am not moving.
  • Break the problem down into bite size pieces.  I have a tendency to see the entire forest and yet all the single trees at the same time.  If I can slow my breathing, I can slow my thoughts, and then I can try to see each tree and then cut each one down, one at a time

I know that is only three, but honestly now I’m exhausted.  I was hoping by taking a little detour I could get myself out of this cycle and then focus back on work.  Instead, my eyes are heavy, my chest is pounding again, and all I can think about it heading home.

Where do anxiety attacks even come from?  Why are they a thing?  WTF now I’m feeling anxious again.  This is nuts.  I love being productive.  I love accomplishing things.  In fact accomplishing tasks actually makes me feel at ease so why the hell is the idea of getting things done making me feel overwhelmed and out of control??

Maybe it’s my diet?  Since the Whole30 I avoid dairy and some legumes that I know are an issue for me.  In general I like eating healthier, but sure there are days that include a two hour mexican feast, complete with margaritas and all the appropriate accoutrement.

I do have to laugh at myself right now.  I mean this blog is about achieving balance and I guess as long as I don’t do that then this endeavor can live on.  So maybe I am just self sabotaging?  I’m kidding, but that’s funny.

Ok, I’m gonna take something to help calm myself down because this little exercise didn’t do the trick.  What do you guys do when you have anxiety?  How do you get out of it and not spend the rest of the night on the couch paralyzed?

Would love to hear your thoughts

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