The Slide

It happened today, so suddenly. I went several days without any huge worries. Thoughts came and went. Nothing replayed over and over again. I felt calm and confident. Everything was going so well. Two weeks, zero meltdowns.

I woke up this morning expecting more of the same. I went to work. I enjoyed work. I ate lunch. I enjoyed lunch a bit too much. Then I drove around, waiting to go to my next client. I made a few stops to kill time, and during one I noticed something. I was fidgeting. You see, I have this bead on my key ring, because I’m perhaps a little too superstitious (there’s a whole story behind this, dating back to my cross country days in high school). And while I sat in my car, I caught myself playing with the bead. Twirling and spinning and rubbing off the little bit of paint that remains.

Now, this shouldn’t be significant. I always have something in my hands, and whenever I have a little bit of excess energy I can expect something like this. The problem arose, I think, when I asked myself why? I’ve been learning to be aware of my thoughts/feelings/behaviors, and to question their validity. So when I noticed what I was doing, that’s exactly what I did. However, instead of addressing my behavior in a helpful way, my mind immediately shouted “WHAT”S WRONG?”

So then I sat in my car, playing with my keys, and overanalyzing something that should have had no bearing on my day. And the more I thought the worse I felt, and I let it affect me all day. I turned down help. I felt bad for myself. I restarted this cycle that I’ve been trying so hard to pull myself out of. This is what anxiety looks like. And I have it easy.

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