Anxiety

anxiety

Writing this post is making me anxious, which is funny, because I’m writing about anxiety. I guess it’s funny in a Big Bang Theory way; I know I’m supposed to find it funny, and I don’t find it not funny, I’m just not laughing. That kind of funny.

I’m usually really upfront when it comes to writing about my personal life, as evidenced here and here and here. So I don’t know why this is so particularly difficult, but it is.

I suffer from anxiety. And it’s not the big things in life that make me anxious, like death or anything. Though I do get very, very anxious about my future and money.

No, it’s the little things, like…sigh…parking. Parking is the gigantic steel thorn in my soft sensitive side. If I go anywhere, the first thing I think about is parking.

And now that I’ve moved, it’s even worse. Because where I used to live, I had a guaranteed space behind my apartment. Now, I have street parking. And while I have a guest pass (until I get my parking sticker), which means I can park anywhere on the street, I am still terribly anxious, because the guest pass is only good for my block, which is about the length of a pixie cut. And if all the spaces are taken, I’m kinda outta luck. I’m afraid to leave my house. Thankfully, I work from home. But sometimes, I have meetings. And that means I have to give up my space. And that’s like asking me to die. It sounds so overdramatic — and I hate that word — and it is, and I know it is, but I also don’t, cannot possibly know.

It’s about the loss of control. I can’t control a guaranteed space on my block, the same as I can’t control my future and everything in my life, blah blah, therapist shit. I know that part. I know it’s not just the space. But it’s also the space. If I leave, there may not be a space when I get back. And then what? What will I do then? I get a horrible image of me driving around Los Angeles for hours, searching for a space that isn’t permit parking or street cleaning. I’m envious of South Park characters for their, “ample parking day and night”.

I’m a fucking mess over a parking space.

This is illogical, I know. And believe me, I’ve had people say to me, “Are you fucking kidding, get over it.” But when you suffer from anxiety and the things I do, it’s not that easy. I would love to be a normal person who doesn’t feel like they’re controlled by a parking space. I feel like a motherfucking alien who just landed on Earth and is learning the ways of its people. On Saturn, parking is everywhere, Earthlings. What have you done?

I know there are people in this world far worse off than I am. I’m not suggesting I have it the worst. I live in beautiful Los Angeles with great friends. I have both legs. Both legs! I have a fantastic boyfriend.

But I also have a flawed mind. My brain is out to get me. It finds things no one else would be anxious about, and it multiplies them. And it won’t leave me alone. It goes something like this:

BRAIN: “Did you put on the parking brake?”

ME: “Yes, of course, I always do.”

BRAIN: “But what if you didn’t this time?”

ME: “That doesn’t make sense, Brain, I always do. Ever since that accident.”

(Long story short, we lived on Mulholland Dr. when I was a kid, and the neighbors above us on the hill didn’t put on their parking brake and their truck rolled down the hill which crashed into a tree which crashed into our breakfast nook window where we were eating dinner. My brother fell to the floor. If I hadn’t gotten up to go to the bathroom, I could have died, as I was sitting right in front of the window. That story wasn’t very short, sorry.)

BRAIN: “But what if you didn’t, and your car crashed back into the car behind you which crashes into the car behind that one which crashes into the car behind that one and before you know it, you’ve ruined Los Angeles?”

ME: “SHUT. UP.”

BRAIN: “No, you.”

ME: “FINE I’LL CHECK THE GODDAMN PARKING BRAKE.”

(Looks in window, parking brake is up.)

ME: “See? Told you, Brain, it’s FINE.”

BRAIN: “Get in the car.”

ME: “WHAT?”

BRAIN: “Get in the car and make sure.”

ME: “I CAN SEE IT FROM HERE, BRAIN.”

BRAIN: “PUT THE LOTION IN THE FUCKING BASKET!”

ME: “What?”

BRAIN: “I MEAN GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!”

And it goes on. And I get in the car. And the brake is fine. And I leave the car. And I go back to the car again, just to make sure.

I know, okay, I know: it’s just parking. It’s not possible that I’ll be driving around for hours without a place to park. That’s not how life works. Maybe that kind of shit happens to Werner Herzog, but not to me. I’m just a girl, standing in front of the Internet, asking it to love her.

GODDAMN YOU BRAIN, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME QUOTE FILMS???

Who else has anxiety? How do you cope? Let’s use this post to help each other.

Photo by me, via Instagram, @apocalypstick.

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24 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Amanda

    Oh, Almie. Your anxiety makes me feel less weird and crazy about my own.

    My anxiety tends toward the social: “OMG, there are PEOPLE! What if they want to talk to me and I can’t think of anything to say and SHY AND OH GOD WHY I’M GOING TO DIE RIGHT NOW!” The only other times I really have anxiety issues are clothing related, like “Oh dear god this skirt is tight and it is going to eat me!”

    The BEST thing, at least for me, is to take myself out of the situation for a few minutes, reminding myself that no one has ever actually dropped dead from the inability to converse or been eaten by an article of clothing. In your case, you could remind yourself that it’s highly unlikely for an entire city and/or civilization to come crashing down because you forgot to put on your parking break.

    Yoga helps, too.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Ha. I’m glad I could help?

      I also feel some social anxiety although it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. I’m sorry you suffer from it, it’s not fun. :(

      I did yoga for the first time in years a few days ago. That + the hot shower after + champagne made for a very relaxing evening!

      xoxo

  2. Lisa Wieczorek

    I also suffer from anxiety and it has been hard to cope with especially since I graduated from undergrad 4 years ago. Before my life had structure. I went to school and worked a part-time job. Once I graduated, that routine I had for god knows how long just went up in the air. Life is so full of possibilities that it makes me anxious because I feel like I need to be doing everything at once. God, typing this gives me anxiety. I’ve been coping with yoga and meditation though. There is a great app on the iPhone called “Stop, Breathe and Think”. It has shorter meditations so you can make time to do it even if you’re having a busy day.

    I also have the same issue with parking on my block in Chicago. Short block and not enough parking. Though we don’t even have stickers so ANYONE can park there. It’s every man for themselves and there have been times where I’ve had to search everywhere to park only to park in an area where I have to pay for it every two hours. It’s not a silly thing to be anxious about. All we gotta do is take a deep breath and try to tell ourselves it will be okay in the end, right? Haha

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Thank you for sharing your parking dilemmas with me. I realize I could have it worse! And thanks for sharing that app, I’d never heard of it before.

      Yes, we’re all gonna be okay in the end. :)

      xoxo.

  3. Ellen Wylie

    I used to drink. Then my kids turned pre teens and I wanted to divorce their father, so I quit. I went to a 12 Step program to be around other sober people. I was sober for 10 years. I meditated every day in the morning for 1/2 an hour. I said positive stuff other people say are called “prayers”. I sang. I laughed. I told other people about what my crazy brain was telling me. Then finally I started writing. In journals. Sometimes poetry like funny stuff.
    I do not want any meds.
    Oh, I cry. “God’s Vallium”

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Thank you for sharing, Ellen. I think you really have the right (pun not intended) idea here — writing it all out is very helpful!

  4. Julia

    Girl, that is MY LIFE. I hate worrying about the smallest details. I worry about going out with friends to places because I either worry about being tired, hungry or getting sick and then i end up feeling one of the three (or all of them). At this very moment I’m waiting to go pick up my boyfriend to go watch a few bands play and I’m already feeling sleepy from stressing out whether I’ll be hungry at the show or not. I actually just recently started a blog too to hopefully help me deal with all of my anxiety issues. And my relationship anxiety is the w-o-r-s-t. There’s actually a really helpful forum called Anxiety Zone, you should check it out!

  5. Lloyd Foss

    I have a severe anxiety / panic disorder that I’ve been dealing with since age 21 (I’m 34 now). So I can totally relate to this story (or just about any other story about anxiety). I’ve probably experienced them all at one point or another. I see a lot of people mentioning yoga for stress relief. Maybe you should try that? Maybe I should try that.. hmm.. is there a weight limit for that?!

  6. Sarah P

    Yeah, I have overwhelming anxiety about even the smallest things. My panic attacks stopped when I went on meds and I’ve been in therapy for about a year now, which has been enormously helpful, but it’s a struggle day to day.

    Like, it’s gotten to the point that I try to make myself exhausted the day before I do anything so that I get too tired to extend energy to be anxious. Which basically means I’m tired all the time but the anxiety is kind of…quieter.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      That’s def one complicated way of temporarily fixing the problem! But I like the idea of exhausting yourself to a point of, “well, fuck it” mentality.

  7. Lloyd Foss

    The worst part about severe anxiety / panic attacks is that most other ‘normal’ people don’t understand it. Unless they have lived it themselves or been around somebody who has it, they simply have no clue. Then people always say stuff like “its just in your head” or “why don’t you just get over it” and you just want to punch them in the face for being so stupid.

    And then there’s the insanely difficult task of making / keeping relationships (whether professional, personal, casual, friends, etc.). I basically have zero real-life friends. And the few people that I manage to make a connection with online (via FaceBook, Twitter, etc.) generally don’t last very long. I mean, I know that its not my fault that I am the way I am. Believe me, if I could change it, I would. But people seem to have zero tolerance when it comes to patience, compassion, etc. in these matters.

    Anyway, I digress.. I’ll shut up now. =|

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  9. Kaylee

    I’m an anxious person but not officially diagnosed (yet). I so relate to parking! I have cried and had breakdowns over this issue. Very tough where I live as well…my city has it’s own claim to fame regarding parking. When I’m driving home I do self-talk…”it’s ok, you will find a spot…you might just have to drive around a little…no big deal (deep breaths)…worst case scenario you pay $25 to the parking garage…there will be a spot.” It helps!

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Oh, brilliant idea. Thank you for reminding me of the lot near my apartment!

  10. Simone

    Oh, Almie. As someone who suffers from anxiety and OCD (like the real kind, not like the “I’m totally OCD about my record collection!” kind), I know exactly how you feel. Anxiety causes your brain to jump to all kinds of conclusions. Sometimes I have to stop myself, breathe and tell myself “This is the anxiety talking.” It’s hard though.

    I really enjoyed this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439177317/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1439177317&linkCode=as2&tag=skidip04-20

    (If only because it made me feel like, “Whoa, I’m not the only one who has these kinds of thoughts!” oh & it’s funny.)

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Thank you for the recommendation! And yeah, I hate when people refer to themselves as being “OCD” — it’s pretty disrespectful.

  11. Catie

    As someone having similar issues I have admit that you’re completely spot on with your you/brain dialogue. Also, the whole “BRAIN: “PUT THE LOTION IN THE FUCKING BASKET!”” thing; I can not remember when was the last time I this hard. seriously. Thanks for making me feel like less of a Martian or whatever & thanks for the laugh!

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