Anxiety is when the doctor asks if you speak too fast, suffer from insomnia, feel restless, if your mind races, etc., and if your answer is: “Yes, but that is not anything new. I haven’t been sleeping since I was a wee thing! People are always telling me to slow down! Are you trying to tell me I should be sleeping and not thinking all night?! Who does that?? Oh gosh, doc, you are making me anxious!”
The gurus are always dishing out advice on how to deal with anxiety and depression.
Common remedies include: exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and therapy. My friends, I do them all and I am happy to say that they work…to an extent. I generally feel better afterwards, but I honestly think half of that is because the decompressing activity also gives me anxiety, and thus, distracts me from my other worries.
Exercise is a well known stress buster, but what if the exercises themselves are causing more stress?! Take in point my experiences with spin, yoga, and running.
Anxiety filled my soul as I approached my first spin class. I was not just nervous about not knowing what the hell I was doing, or falling off the bike, but also about parking my car.. My friend pre-warned that the spin lot filled up quickly. Of course she also added, “but don’t worry,” which immediately made me worried.
I circled the lot five times, nervously looking for a spot. I finally decided to park on the street. I took some deep breaths. And then it happened. I somehow continued driving despite the fact that my car was rubbing up against another vehicle. Aaaah, the sound, the crunch. I stared in horror, and as I did, I locked eyes with a passerby walking down the street. His face said it all.
“Fuck!” Well, this was going well. Sarcasm.
I wrote a hurried note, reparked my damaged car, and scrambled into the spin studio. My friend looked at my flustered face, I mumbled, and mounted onto the bike she had saved for me, falling off it more than once in the process. Finally on it, someone came over and helped me figure out the settings. This was complicated business! All settled, I took a premature sigh of relief which was immediately followed by me spilling the entire contents of my water bottle all over the spin studio floor. I didn’t know fluid ounces could create such a flooding situation!
The rest of class went by much smoother in comparison but certainly not without its hiccups; ya know, like hitting my head on the bike handlebars. It takes reaaaal talent, people!
Yoga is important to me because I have one of those brains that is the equivalent of scrambled eggs on crack 13 miles into a marathon. However, blocking out my surroundings during class creates a whole other dilemma. That girl must be hot. She is wearing a ski cap.
I don’t know where to look, so many feet. Ugh, I wish I had a Kleenex. Where is the music? Could really go for some jams. I’m totally going to fall onto this lady’s mat. Oh that one’s ski hat is off. This place feels like a cesspool. Yoga is good for me. I like yoga. Okay, I can’t take it anymore. I need to get a tissue. Gets a tissue and blows nose.
Yeah, I guess I am glad I came to class. I’m really glad I ate an apple before class. I would be starving. Not actually starving. I realize I am lucky to eat food on the regs and what does she want us to do with our legs? Next thing you know the teacher is going to tell me to “stay relaxed.” STAY RELAXED?!
As class concludes: Whoa. I really do need yoga. When can I go this week? Hmmm. Oh man, I overbooked things this week. I need to cancel everything and go to yoga.
I hope people aren’t outside today. I don’t think I can handle seeing people. Agh. What is my leg doing?! I better not fall down again. Or talk to strangers! I can’t have anymore park guys asking me out! That one guy who confided in me that he considered being “celibate but sometimes lusts,” well, he was a lot. So weird how he found me on Facebook; I only gave him my first name. I guess we are always being tracked…Is someone following me right now?!
Oh! I love this song!!! Running is so fun!!! God, my knee hurts. I’m tired. I freaking hate running. Why do I do this? Ugh, another runner. How can they go so fast?! I need to pick up the pace! That girl has such a good swinging ponytail!
My run concludes and I feel so empowered! I stare into all the cars, not once thinking I look like a stinky creeper! Endorphins for the win!!! I am only mildly disappointed by the lack of love interests in cars as I am too busy loving my smelly, glistening self! I obviously need to run every day so I can feel this good.
Therapy can be a beneficial way to help sort one’s thoughts. I have been going on and off for years with mixed results. In the age of pandemic, many of us have turned to telemedicine. I like telemedicine in that I don’t have to leave my apartment, worry about driving, and subsequently find a parking spot.
However, those worries are now replaced with: Did my therapist send me the link? I don’t see the link! Am I going to be charged if I can’t find this link??! Should I text her?! I don’t want to bother her! Maybe I could email her. Three minutes go by and I still can’t find the magical link and have both emailed and texted my therapist. I hope she isn’t mad. I texted AND emailed her! I just wanted her to see my message! I don’t want her to think I am blowing the appointment off! I hope she doesn’t think I am too needy!
Once the link is recovered, there is the matter of content. Sometimes, when I am in a good mood; not sad, not too anxious, I then worry my therapist will fire me for being happy! I hope my therapist isn’t mad that I am in a good mood today. I haven’t even cried this week. I hope she doesn’t think I am wasting her time. I still have things to say but not like sad things so I mean, I think she will be okay with that. I think it will be okay because I will probably cry again at some point. Yeah, I think she will still want to keep therapizing me.
My friends, I could go on and on about other anxiety reducing methods: how I struggle to inhale and then exhale when deep breathing, how journaling gives me hand cramps, the list goes on! But! I am already way over the word limit for this essay which is of course, you guessed it (!!!), giving me anxiety!