A visit from an old…friend?

Ah, anxiety. Where would I be with you in my life?

It seems like anxiety has been part of my life since, well, forever (I think).  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious about something.

Was I doing well enough in school? Was I doing to well and alienating the other kids? Is he going to call me? Is my job/marriage/sanity/body intact? I’m carrying how much weight? Am I doing enough exercising/dieting/praying/positive thinking?

You get the picture. I thought that everyone went through that until I met my husband who hardly ever is anxious about anything. He keeps me grounded when the anxiety gets to be too much and reminds me to go read a book or take a walk. Best of all, he doesn’t judge me harshly for being anxious, although I know he doesn’t understand the anxiety — it’s just not part of his worldview.

I have been labeled as “driven” by my colleagues and friends, and part of that drive is the anxiety I experience. Part of it is my own competitive nature. Most of the time I compete against myself to excel and reach a new personal best. When competing against myself, I have no doubt that I will succeed because I always have. It’s when I compete against someone else that the anxiety creeps in. Maybe that’s why I haven’t gravitated toward competitive sports in decades — the anxiety is almost too much to bear.

I ask myself occasionally if I need professional assistance, but I have the voices of two excellent counselors in my head that remind me of all the tools they have given me. I know how to calm myself and that the panic attacks I endure won’t last forever (even when they seem that way). I actively work to live in the present moment and not worry about the future, although that skills become elusive at times– like when deadlines approach, or I have 982349837 files on my computer desktop that I’m working on, or the rotten scale reflects a weight gain, or when the checkbook balance is lower than I hope.

This morning has a significant anxiety overlay because of the Italian “myfunzalow” (say it out loud…it will make sense) disease. My husband has an interview for what appears to be a terrific job this coming Thursday, so I’m praying that it is a good fit for both him and the company, especially since he is so unhappy in his present job. Money is coming in, probably sooner than I realize, and I remind myself that we have food in the house and gas in the cars. Bob Marley’s wordspeace keep echoing through my head:

Don’t you worry

‘Bout a thing

‘Cuz every little thing

Is gonna be alright

I’ve set those words to auto-replay whenever the anxiety train rolls through because they keep me from boarding that train. Everything is going to be alright. I will finish the work before the deadline, and the world will not fall apart if I don’t. My husband will either get this job, or a better one will come along and be his. My weight will decrease and fitness increase as long as I stick to what I’m doing.

Why? Because that is how the Creator works. Everything always works out for the best. And if something’s not working well, then the Creator is still hard at work on both me and the situation.

Every little thing will indeed be alright!




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