On Anxiety and this Election Cycle
Lately, I have been wanting to write a piece on anxiety as it’s something that I know (and don’t love) but that can often have a stigma attached to it. I want “normal” people to know that it’s OK to talk about the bits and pieces of anxiety that we experience and that it’s a part of the human condition. I had intended to write a thoughtful piece about my experiences so that you would know my struggles and embrace me for them but that’s not how this story is going to end, half way through that “thoughtful” piece, I said F$#$ it.
I worry… A LOT. My husband says that I will always find something to worry about, even things that haven’t happened yet (and may never happen). I’m worrying right now, what you’ll think of this piece that I’m writing. Will you like it? Will it resonate with someone? Will people type nasty comments? Am I alone feeling this way? There are so many people who suffer from some sort of anxiety (worry, depression, compulsive behaviors, self doubt, panic + more) that it’s a little crazy to me (pun intended) that we don’t talk more openly about our fears, worries, self consciousness and beyond.
I’m an anxiety stacker. I don’t know if that’s a thing but I worry and tend to overthink, which can then, depending on my mood that day, take me into a place of self doubt which then, in very rare instances, can make me feel panicky. I can sometimes leave a conversation with a good friend worrying if they thought something I said was offensive, when logic tells me it wasn’t. Even if I “resolve” an issue with myself, sometimes it will literally nag at me all day, never leaving my mind. Am I still a functioning human being who tends to her family’s needs with all the care of an intelligent, independent domestic goddess? Mostly but it’s not like it’s easy all the time… and as cliche as it may sound, I’m sometimes my worst enemy but on most days, Strong Amanda wins the day, seeking to conquer in the future….
I’ve been prescribed Xanax (as needed) for panic attacks in my past, and thankfully I haven’t needed to take one in awhile… But lately, I’ve been feeling that panicky fear creep back in… and do you want to know why? Mother f&*#ing Donald Trump. Seriously, I’m as irritated about it as you might be. Passion runs deep in me. When I believe in something, I will fight for it and be a voice for it’s cause. The same goes, apparently, when I vehemently oppose something… like Donald Trump.
Now you’re probably like, HOLD UP WEREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT ANXIETY HERE? Well, yes, we were and still are. I strongly believe that Donald Trump will destroy this country so much so that I have had nightmares about it in the past couple of weeks (damn you, npr think piece!). *Here’s where I have a convo with my sub-conscious saying lady, chill out on me while I sleep… but she rarely listens and I wake up worrying.* So many words flying around Racism, Sexism, Demagogue, Serial Liar, Spray Tan… my head is spinning and I feel the need to speak out against him and all that he stands for so that he does not become our next POTUS… trouble is, when I post those things, speak to people in person and make my opinion known I worry about what others think of me. Am I being too annoying with my posts? Do people I love disagree with me? Am I too opinionated? Is it even making a difference? Logic tells me that there can’t be enough Trump supporters for him to win the election but my worrier inner-self is always telling me not to trust my logic. Not only do I worry about what will happen if Donald Trump is elected, I worry about the things I’m doing to try to keep that from happening. It’s a double edged sword.
I woke up this morning wishing for the election to be over because I worry for Hillary Clinton and the viscous attacks that she will receive from Trump, how his remarks +rhetoric will cut down women and minorities and immigrants and our allies overseas and pretty much everyone but his base, and how hard it will be to watch that happening. Hillary has always been and continues to be a tough cookie. I know she’s preparing for the challenge but it’s going to be ugly, there is no doubt in my mind about that… and to say that I am “anxious” to see that unfold is an understatement.
So what do I do? Where do I go from here? I guess I keep fighting the good fight, against my anxiety and against the disgusting things that Trump stands for because that’s what’s important to me… ensuring neither will win the day or the election.