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Lyfe Thinking Out Loud Tough Talk

Forest for the Trees (Anxiety and Losing Perspective)


Lately, I’ve been missing the forest for the trees and losing perspective thanks to my anxiety. What happened to that perspective you all attribute to me so often? 

Tuesday was a bit of a crash and burn for me.  

Losing Perspective due to Anxiety

Have you ever lost the beauty of the forest because you can only focus on a few imperfect trees? What losing perspective as a result of anxiety looks like. @suzlyfe

The anxiety began Monday morning. Monday night a freezing Cubs game triggered issues of performance anxiety (and feeling like I was ruining our evening) and anxiety simply about going back out into the cold of the stadium from the slightly warmer concourse. I felt like I was ruining our night. My anxiety told me that my body was useless, why couldn’t I have dressed properly? Why did I always have to get in the way of us having a good time? We finally get these tickets and I have to get in the way because I can’t dress properly.

Tuesday actually started out somewhat okay… until I started for the gym and hit a pot hole and blew my tire in two. After a black ice incident in December and Chicago’s infamous red light tickets (over something that I know understand but didn’t at the time), my anxiety told me that I should stop driving. Every time that I leave the house in our car it costs us so much money. I am a liability. I cost us so much money. Now we are going to have to put the money that was supposed to be going towards keeping us in the black and spend it on a towing company. 

I have to say thank you to Mario of the Chicago Parks District for helping me out and saving me a tow. This wonderful man changed my tire for me (honestly, I physically couldn’t have even gotten the cover off the spare, even if I had known where to start!

While I usually find peace in my runs in the sunshine, as I ran downtown to meet Alex before therapy, my anxiety built and built. By the time that I was arriving at the hospital to meet Alex, my anxiety told me that Being a mom is so much more anxiety inducing that the life that I am currently living; if I can’t handle this, I am unfit to be a mother. The anxiety has been building over the years–what if it continues to build and build and I have a SERIOUS problem on my hands? Should I even be trying to have kids? What if I get pregnant and pass all of this on to them.

I don’t see the fact that I have more good days than bad. That I am smart, kind, and loving.

Thank goodness for lunch with Alex. Thank everything that is sacred, whatever you believe in, that he can be my rock and reassure me that he loves me and he just wants to be there for me, that he doesn’t fear for our future, that he knows that I am going through a rough time, but we will get it figured out. My anxiety had been telling me that Alex deserves better than a crazy wife. He didn’t sign up for this. He deserves better. What if I lose him? Will I drive him away?

I don’t see that Alex knew what he was getting into (after all, I put him through quite a lot our first year!

At therapy, all of this unfolds. Talking to my therapist helps me see just how much my mind is working a million miles a minute; there is a point where I am talking when I realize how much, quickly, and fatalistically I am speaking about the thoughts in my head. The anxiety isn’t telling me anything, it is actively speaking. 

At work, the anxiety continues. I make mistakes, as people do (I misorder something, likely my biggest faux pas, but that seems to keep happening and I can’t stop maligning myself). My anxiety is telling me that I am not making enough money. I am going to get fired. Why am I so stupid. Seriously? This isn’t rocket science.

I don’t see all of the people I connect with, the people who I introduce to a new food or help have a freaking awesome day.

Annnnnnd so on.

As you can see, right now, I have NO perspective on my life in the moment when things go wrong. I said last week that I was living on the edge of anxiety and feeling volatile. Part of the reason for that is that I literally can’t find perspective; I can only find self criticism and anxiety. 

This has been getting steadily worse over the past year–starting when I went off my birth control and lost that safety net of hormones. Since then, it has been a roller coaster. I have had anxiety in the past, but never to this extent. And no, I am not sharing all of the things that anxiety is telling me….

I am not sharing this as a cry for help or pity; I have no need for that type of energy! Positive Vibes ONLY.

Have you ever lost the beauty of the forest and focused only on imperfect trees? #mentalhealth #thursdaythoughts Click To Tweet

I am simply sharing this so that you can have a peek into how anxiety can manifest itself. If you recognize this type of self talk in yourself, I urge you to seek help seeing the beauty of forest, rather than just those few trees that aren’t perfect.

Do you know how to change a tire?

If you live with anxiety, does your anxiety keep you from moving forward or make you question your actions afterward?

Thank you to Amanda for Thinking Out Loud

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