How anxiety changes my style of play.

Considering how rough the last few months have been, I’m amazed that mentally I’m maintaining as well as I am.

I’ve slowly been getting back into my workout regime, and things have slowly been leveling out. My anxiety has been peaked though, and I’m not sure why. My chest has been tight, I’ve been jumpy, and generally been ill at ease. Getting into the workouts again has been helping, but things have still been off kilter.

The dumb thing is I can’t even put my finger on what’s bugging me. It’s just a general un-ease that is bothering me. I’m hoping that it is just me worrying about Lynn and her mom as they work on Brenda’s estate. I can’t wait until Lynn is home safe next week.

Anxiety is one part of my mental health that I deal with regularly. It ebbs and flows, sometimes barely there, other times threatening to overwhelm me, but always there.

Since the anxiety has come into play, I still am not a fan of crowds. I jump when loud noises occur suddenly (such as when I was in the basement the day before yesterday and the damn cat decided to knock a box set of books onto the floor. I honestly thought a shot had gone off….). I have gotten better with my dislike for sirens, but hearing them still sends my adrenal system into overdrive, sets my pulse racing, and even my respiration rate increases.

Anxiety sucks, there is no two ways about that. It sucks but it doesn’t define me or control me. Yeah, I still avoid some situations, such as large crowds, because I would rather not push a bad situation. However there are situations that I can’t avoid, such as invariably hearing sirens when I am in the city. I’m at the point where I can breathe through it, remind myself I am safe, and that I am no longer on the frontlines of emergency services. The body response doesn’t change, but the amount of impact it holds on me is decreased.

Just like aspects of any other mental health condition, the constant heightened level of awareness is fatiguing. The constant analysis of things going on around me, assessing for hazards even when I am not in risk, is tiring. Compounding that fatigue is the addition of the depressive aspects of my other mental health issues.

As I opened this blog post, with the fight I have everyday, I’m amazed I’m as functional as I am. It’s taken me work to get here. It’s taking me work to stay here. A lot of that work has been learning my limits and learning coping strategies to offset those limits. Another part of the process has been setting realistic goals and expectations.

I’d love to go back to fulltime work. I’d love to have more control over my emotions. I’d love to not tire out as fast as I do, but unfortunately these are the cards I’ve been dealt. A bad hand of cards doesn’t end the game, it just changes the style of play.

Kevin

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