My Fight with Anxiety (Updated)

Addendum: The only other thought I have to add right now is this notion of getting out in front of my anxiety. Anticipating it in order to limit it instead of succumbing to it because it is there and it is strong. And sometimes feels stronger than me though it is not. I need to put something else in its place. Self-love and the desire for loving relationships with family and friends is a start. Activities that bring satisfaction and joy like donating goods to Goodwill or giving a friend who is a teacher extra art supplies for her classroom. I do not need anxiety to run my life. I am perfectly capable of running my life without it.

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I have bipolar disorder / mixed states which means highs and lows may simultaneously occur. For me this manifests in anxiety.

I have tried to tell my MD that I would like to go on a new med specifically for the purpose of anxiety reduction but he thinks I have been stable on clozapine – no need to bother since that track record is good.

I am thinking about going to another doctor for a second opinion but have not yet decided to do that.

Anyway, the topic for me today is anxiety and how to limit it. I wake up almost 7 days out of 7 with something I am worried about. My therapist says this is normal as when we sleep we are tapping into the collective unconscious and that that transition is difficult to manage in the waking hours.

I am going then to try something new. I am going to try to acknowledge the fact that I start my day with anxiety but that anxiety is just a thought or a manifestation of sleep tapping into the unconscious. I am going to seek to limit the time I allow for my anxiety to disrupt my day for the first hour or two of the day while I am having my morning coffee. That one to two hours of the day is all I seek to allow anxiety to infiltrate my thoughts.

I am getting older in my late fifties and my husband is in his early sixties. There is only so much time to make good memories together and to have a joyous time together. This includes an evolving relationship with joyous memories with my college freshman daughter as well.

Anxiety robs you of making good memories. It robs you from having special moments with family and friends. It gets in the way of new and renewing relationships.

I do not want anxiety to run my life. Quite aptly put I would like my life to run my anxiety.

So far, I don’t have a very sophisticated plan for accomplishing this, but at least I have my resolve and that is half the battle. So far my plan includes self-talk that anxiety may exist for me but it will not dominate me. It also includes affirmations that say I deserve good times and I deserve good memories. No illness can rob me of that. Also, critic talk is to be ignored. I do not need my internal critic saying I don’t deserve happiness since I have not been fully the wife or mother or sister or daughter I would have preferred. No more critic talk! I should be praising myself for being a strong presence in the lives of my loved ones and asking for forgiveness of self in the times I did not or could not do this.

I don’t know if this plan to limit anxiety will work. I welcome any suggestions you may have. I will also plan to update this post several times to talk about the ins and outs of this new relationship with my anxiety as it moves forward. Hopefully, as it progresses.

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