Creative Writing

Anxiety’s Mistress

Gut wrenching.

Sharp jolts in the chest.
Shortness of breath.

That crippling fear that holds you like a rope in that moment you’re stuck inside.

Plaguing your mind like symbiote ooze…trying to convince you that nothing feels right. 

Discomfort. 

Unrest.

Anxiety is a crippling disorder effecting the lives of many that we know. A little over 18% of the population between the ages of 18-54 suffer from some form of anxiety. (1). I’m a little surprised that statistic isn’t higher to be honest. I have a feeling that in a couple of years due to social media, that we will see a rise in anxiety. If we haven’t already. I feel that the constant comparing that we’ve become accustomed to because of online posting has created a whole new form of anxiety. We wonder why we’re not doing the things the other person our age from our town is doing.

When I booked shows for bands a while back, it was surprising to me to find how many of those in bands didn’t enjoy the social aspect of being in a band. They enjoyed playing music and they enjoyed working with their band mates but when it came time to play at a venue no matter how small, anxiety would set in and they would want it to be over as quickly as possible.

My anxiety begin in the womb. Now you’re going to ask yourself how the hell would she know that? Well, I was born with a wrinkly thumb and the sonogram showed me sucking my thumb in the womb. This is a behavior associated with a stressed-out baby or child… which comes from a stressed-out mother. My mom was 21 when she had me and had lost her own mother to ovarian cancer just a few months before I was born. In addition to the relatively dysfunctional upbringing she had, this was the perfect recipe for a severely stressful pregnancy in the late seventies. 

I was a very anxious child around my parents and sucked my thumb until I was in kindergarten. I had to get these medieval like orthodontics to finally break me of the thumb sucking habit. Of course, all I did was trade nervous habits and to this day I have been an avid finger nail biter. It is the only addictive trait that I possess and the only thing I have never been able to quit or give up.

Because of things that happened to me in my adult life (stick around… I have tons of crazy stories), I have found ways to cope with anxiety and use yoga, meditation, and herbal methods to treat it. I used to go the pharmaceutical route but being on Xanax for 6 or 7 years took its own toll and I realized I needed to get off of it immediately.

It helps me to discuss the thoughts that cause me anxiety. Face to face social circles are shrinking and I feel we owe it to one another to have in person conversations. I love my online outlets, but nothing can replace the connection and calm of a friend in front of you telling you that things will be okay and that they believe you. That’s been the best remedy for anxiety that I’ve ever found. 

Maybe if we practiced that more, the sweeping anxiety society feels would lessen. 
Please feel free to share your thoughts on anxiety and how it effects you. 
(1). http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-statistics-information.shtml

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