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“I Feel Less Anxious Now Than I Have in a Long Time”

“When the world is in actual crisis, you stop worrying about pretend-crises. You lose the luxury of free-floating worry about scenarios not currently happening when you need to pull it together for a young child out of school and a newly jobless husband. You cannot even allow worry near your mind for what it will do to you.”

4 Comments: “I Feel Less Anxious Now Than I Have in a Long Time”

  1. Hello,
    Severe anxiety since 1975 (age 5) – not diagnosed until age 39 – was shocked anxiety was a “thing” – my whole life finally made sense and changed dramatically (medication and understanding my reactions, anger and over reactions to everything and everyone all my life). This article makes sense – I realized this when I had my first son over 20 years ago. I was in the midst of my undiagnosed anxiety years and would have severe anxiety attacks randomly – often in the middle of dinner or while asleep. It was horrible. But as soon as my infant son (or later toddler, little boy and finally my 2nd son) needed me in ANY way (a bottle, meal, bath, diaper, cuddle, playing) my anxiety melted away. The first time I truly noticed it “Ah-ha moment” was when our fire alarms were blaring at 3 a.m. and I shot into action gathering the boys as my husband had to deal with work (we lived in a school dormitory). I was relieved that my “craziness” (Which is a real issue!) didn’t make me a terrible mother. In fact, going on medication made me a better mother and a more kind, tolerant person and I’m grateful for the diagnosis. I talk about anxiety and share my experience with lots of people because too many people (male/female and all ages) are suffering unnecessarily like I did for too long and life doesn’t have to be 24 hours of stomach aches, closing throats, pounding hearts and sleepless nights – Life CAN be good and happy! Even during a pandemic! Be safe and well, everyone!

  2. @Shjalmarson – I agree. I think so too. In an actual crisis our brains are relieved at having located a target to focus all those coping strategies on. The threat is no longer invisible. It’s right in front of our faces. Very David and Goliath, I guess. 🙂

  3. I usually am up all night worrying about everything, but I really could relate to this article because in every crisis I have faced in my life, I was the most calm I have been. I have more control over my emotions and am able to keep everyone around me calm. I’ve always found it quite strange the distinction between my non crisis mode (I am a mess) and actual crisis mode (I am calm)

  4. My theory is that our anxiety is an attempt at finding the crisis when our faulty warning system declares a crisis exists when there isn’t one. During a true crisis that warning system instead gets to sit back smugly with a look that says “See? I *told* you.” We don’t worry because we can actually identify the danger. A broken clock is right twice a day.

    In fact I’d go so far as to argue our anxiety makes us better able to cope with an actual crisis. We’ve already spent hours upon hours planning what we would do in any conceivable circumstance, so when everyone else is in panic mode and not sure what to do we can pull put our massive play-books, check the index, and flip to the relevant page(s). I’ve always found that the antidote to anxiety is to act and there is plenty of opportunity to act during a crisis.

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