What Makes Me Nervous

Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestati...

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Jasmine tea

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I go through periods of time when I could say “what doesn’t make me nervous?” Luckily those episodes don’t happen too often. I was also a nervous child, fearful and anxious. I was born premature and spent six weeks in the hospital without my parents; sometimes I wonder if that was a factor in my anxiety. I know sleep deprivation is definitely a reason that adds to my anxiety and unease so I try to get a good night’s sleep. During these brief albeit intense phases I: obsess about health and safety issues for myself, my family, my dog, basically those I love. I worry about mammograms for myself and every family member and friend that I love. Sometimes I worry about heart disease because my father had some heart problems. As you can see, when I worry, I worry about health issues and life threatening diseases.

I have Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease of my thyroid but I don’t worry about what I have, I worry about what I could get in the future. I do tend to worry in advance “What if this happens?…” A very old friend once gave me her advice: “Don’t meet trouble half-way.” Alas, sometimes I can’t stop it. I will ruminate about a certain subject. For that, there is medication that my doctor prescribed, used cautiously and only when I am in a very bad state; I am not at all ashamed of that, many people have this disorder and I don’t think you need to suffer in silence the way I did. The medication doesn’t knock me out at all, it just takes away the rough edges, like a camera blurry and fuzzy. The medication acts like a focusing mechanism, making things not as traumatic as they seemed, the sense of urgency gone. I am once again, in focus. It takes the edge off and I can feel my breathing change when it begins to work.

Sometimes, at the very start of feeling anxious, doing deep breathing exercises helps. I say I want to meditate but I have said that for years and haven’t done it yet; I’m not sure why. In addition and as often as possible, I list, in my mind, all that I am grateful for in this world. That, with a warm cup of jasmine tea, kissing and holding my dog, listening to music I love and singing out loud are other things that help me.

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4 thoughts on “What Makes Me Nervous

  1. It’s the “free floating” anxiety that bothers me the most; that feeling that something is or will be wrong/bad/forgotten/misplaced/delayed/cancelled/or worst. But without a focal point, it becomes all encompassing. If I’m obessessing (spelling!!!) about the past, present and future on a particular theme (for example, what a failure I have been, am being, and will be), I can try (though not very successfully at times) to break the mobius loop of my anxious thinking.
    These dreadful “dreadfuls” without a core can’t be talked down, diverted, or ignored. And so I wait, generic xanax bottle in hand, for whatever horrible thing I feel has/is/will be happening to reveal itsself.
    I think as folks dealing with chronic health issues (and for you and Tammy there is the added aspect of being mothers) it’s hard not to get anxious. There are the dr. appointments, the potential side effects of new meds, the possible interaction of drugs, the “what if” I can’t _________________ (fill in the blank) anymore due to my _________ (another blank to fill in.
    Here again, I wish I had a magic wand to wave and make all the anxiety (for me and for others) to melt, blow away like grains of sand, morph into something good, grand, and promising. Sigh. I’m still looking for those magic wands — I think I’ll find them in the same aisle as pixie dust.
    Thanks to both of you for sharing your anxieties. It’s nice to know that I don’t fret alone.


  2. Oh I have anxiety big time. Since a small child. That’s my first memory really. Being anxious while my parents threw beer bottles at each others heads while i awaited what I thought was gonna be a great fifth birthday party for me! I worry and worry and worry some more. I worry about everyone. Family, friends, pets, strangers…I just worry and get emotional. I try to learn to meditate, breathe thru the bad anxiety issues…heart thumping, head tight, thoughts racing, shallow breathing…feeling of impending doom…its scary. I take xanax…but have noticed lately its not doing all its meant to do! I also take sleeping pills…also not working as expected…I’m up each night until atleast 4am but regularly 6am…Then I’m a zombie all day, which doesn’t make the anxiety any easier to deal with….Over the past month or two, my genius answer was just to stay inside. Stay away from most people. But it didn’t help. I had more time to worry and fret over every little thing. My grandmother said, worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair…it keeps you busy, but you’re not goin anywhere…that’s so true!
    I gotta get my life under control. I gotta make some changes. I gotta learn to accept some things as they are and figure out what things I can and am iwilling to change…its scary…change…I’m neurotic…with a touch of ocd…I like things done my way…the right way…hahha. It gets too tiring to have the whole worlds problems on my shoulders…time to let some people hop down…lol


  3. I was very sleepy & ready to doze 2 & 1/2 hrs ago… that whenI started worrying about my almost-13 daughter, whether we’ve been mismanaging her (what we’ve allowed; ie. Facebook, texting. Etc), her safety & whether we will unintensionally push her away just when she’ll need us most. All too much to drift into blissful sleep.. maybe I should consider taking one of my little take-the-edge-off-so-I-can-stop “what if”-ing…


  4. If you haven’t already Laurie, you might ask your doctor about trying Lexapro. It has been extremely helpful for a large number of clients I have with the kind of anxiety you are describing. The newer drugs like Lexapro are much more effective than many older meds with fewer side-effects.

    Fear/Anxiety is ALWAYS about the unknown, therefore the Future There is always a basis of possibility therefore neurosis. If there is No possibility then it’s called psychosis. Luckily you are a normal neurotic!
    Fear is not present based because that is known.

    End of today’s rant!
    xxxxxx J.


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