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.