Anxiety is Best Alleviated with Friends
The human body is 80% water, so we are basically cucumbers with anxiety.
It is no wonder people suffer from anxiety. As I sat watching the news and drinking my coffee, the headlines are so dramatic, cryptic, and foreboding. STATE OF EMERGENCY, CATASTROPHIC, CAUSE FOR CONCERN, just to list a few. I could feel my blood pressure rise and my stomach knot up, just listening to it. It's a snowstorm. It's a vaccine. It's eight days until Christmas. I feel like everything is portrayed as impending doom and the end of the world. We have experienced and survived snowstorms, vaccines, and we've all had eight days until Christmas before...it's not the end of the world.
I was scrolling through Facebook on Monday, and there was a post from a friend that compared all the current happenings to past disasters. Foolishly, I not only read the comparisons, I then looked up the events. Dear reader, I am not prone to anxiety, but I thought so much about what had happened to what is happening I had myself worked into a state of anxiety. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I then thought about what we would do, how we would keep The Bean safe. I also wondered if I would be capable and brave enough to do what had to be done. It was a terrible place to be in my head. I thought I was acting crazy and kind of felt crazy.
I then discussed it with The Bibbed Wonder and my friend Jess. The Bibbed Wonder only fuels my anxiety with jokes about my going crazy being a very short walk and then reiterates conspiracy and corruption tales. He was of no help. He is usually the one who can talk me back to calmness, but I just found his jokes annoying. When I told my friend Jess I felt like I was acting crazy, she told me her own anxiety tale. Jess is high ranking ex-military and my superhero bad-ass friend. She is not only intelligent, fierce, and strong; she is quite possibly one of the nicest, most honest people I have ever met. It just is what it is with Jess. No pretense, no smugness. She is a straight shooter, and I appreciate that quality.
Jess is afraid of nuclear fallout. Radiation scares her to death. She even went so far as to research the proximity of nuclear power plants to our area before settling on a home. When she went to the doctor for a check-up, the doctor asked if she is suffering any anxiety over the pandemic. Jess replied frankly and honestly no; she is not worried about the pandemic. She is worried about nuclear fallout. She elaborated on the belief that no one should have that much power, etc., etc. Jess explained that the doctor gave her a surprised look and said, "Okay, I don't know what to do with that." Jess's response to the doctor was, "I don't know what to do with it either!" We then laughed about our anxiety and irrational thoughts.
I felt much better after talking with Jess. Here is my bad-ass friend who earned the highest level clearances a military member can earn; a woman who navigated for fighter jets and withstood training I can't even comprehend, and she worries about her babies and nuclear fallout. Jess is my model for strength and capability. If she can have panic attacks over the thoughts of nuclear fallout, I guess it's okay if I have panic attacks over history repeating itself. We are all human. It doesn't matter how strong we are; we all have worries, fears, and anxiety. Talking with Jess made me realize I am not alone, and I am definitely not crazy. I just have moments of irrational anxiety. The anxiety has passed, but I am sure it will rear its ugly head again. Talking things out with friends, having a support system in place, and not watching the damn news is what I plan to do if I feel anxious again.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, talk things out that make you anxious, and keep washing your hands.