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Anxiety

Quite honestly, there was never a time when I wasn’t anxious. I have always been anxious. The baby was three weeks old and boy was I anxious. I’ve always felt anxious and therefore I was. Got it honestly from my family.

I was so used to being this way that, in college, my growing stomach pains were just something I tried to ignore. Until one day I was told I had gastritis and soon to have an ulcer. I tried to mend my anxious ways. The pain would come and go but it wasn’t really until a year ago that I actually got rid of them without the aid of medication. Which, by the way, I’d have had no problem taking. I believe in better living through over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

I still have phantom anxiety pains. Moments where I recognize that in the past I would have worried about this or that, but the worry is just not there anymore. Like a missing limb, the anxiety no longer exists but I still remember its use. This week I had an overall sense of disease however. And I wouldn’t call it anxiety but I certainly wouldn’t have said no to some Wellbutrin just to tweak my brain a little until I got over myself. I am moving through the spell thanks to hard work, meditation, list therapy, and prioritizing my doing.

anxiety from shalavee.com

My theory has always been that the majority of the US population suffers from anxiety problems and symptoms. And that it is so accepted as a human behavior that we call that normal. And then I took a look at the statistics and verified my hunch. From the Anxiety Disorders association of America, statistics on anxiety:

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
  • GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population.
    Women are twice as likely to be affected as men

I can say that lessening the worry about things I can’t control has definitely changed the quality of my life. I am also deeply respectful of the reasons people have earned their worried ways. We are never told it’s OK to be not OK 100% of the time. Somehow America’s promotion of the Perfecty Perfect Easy Existence has us constantly falling below our lives’ high expectations. Go figure. Imaginary Joneses to keep up with are everywhere. And really nowhere.

from anxious on Shalavee.com

The change in my life is due to increasing my self-esteem and self-efficacy. To realize I’m always capable and I have my back.  I’ve built on this concept in layers and waves. And when I take a look back to my old journals and see what I wrote, I really know how far I’ve come. And knowing that you can change your outlook if you work and learn and listen and read and write makes me feel better everyday. Anxiety should be revered and held to the light. Because it isn’t a nice way to exist. You need help to even help yourself out of that hole. And there’s plenty of help out there for the person who asks. The asking is better than the suffering.

Top 9 Reasons I Hate Top Ten Lists

Yeah, I can be a hater sometimes. Remember this post where I listed the things that got on my nerves? Well today, I’m sharing my

Top 9 Reasons I Hate Top Ten Lists

  1. People seem so focused on quantity instead of quality. More for cheap is how we like it. I feel shame.
  2. I feel further shame of our society’s monkey minded need to package quick answers in lists. Wham bam…
  3. Writers are dumbing down content and catering to the stupid so the rest can get it.
  4. And they’re selling out by making more and more of these bloody lists and feeding the public’s need to read them.
  5. The only exception that proves the rule was Dave Letterman’s top ten lists written by professional funny people. They made it look easy and good.
  6. Oh and because I just want to hate them.
  7. I hate myself for reading and/or liking them ever.
  8. If there’s only 9 items and you have to add one to make it a top 10 then it’s not truly a top ten list. Cheating is encouraged.
  9. And the number one reason I hate top ten lists is because I can’t seem to write one well.

A Story I’ve Told Myself

I’m all for a good story. I’ve even written a post or two on the subject of the voodoo of stories about you. But what if the stories that I tell myself are holding me back? Where once they were helpful and protected me from pain, they now are outdated and are keeping me from living a better life?

When I shut down my shop, Bally Eden, it was as if I had lost a child. So excruciatingly painful was this experience that I had to detach.

My chair for talbot rocks auction 2013 on shalavee.com

One of the coping mechanisms I used was to redefine myself. I exclaimed, “I am no longer a seller of stuff.” And that way, I was no longer in the retail business or could go resale shopping or be a shop owner. I was demoted to civilian again. And this served a purpose. I was done with that dream, like it or not. Too bad, so sad, move on.

People told me I should be an Etsy shop owner, sell online. But the pain was ouchy enough and I couldn’t go there. It just wasn’t the same. At all. The happy ending came when my change in my focus allowed me to become the writer I believed myself to be but just had not allowed myself the effort to practice and prove that I was. There was the reason for the demise of my shop.

Six years later, I’ve thought I would like to, need to, have a reason to sell my creative wares again. But there’s that pesky definition of me standing in my way. I’m not a seller of stuff, remember? And of course there’s also the sad news of Etsy’s policy change last year so now mass-produced items can be sold there. China made stuff is all over the site and Etsy shop owners are feeling the effect. As in they’re closing their shops. Heart-breaking, I know.

paper feathers on shalavee.com

But I think that can’t matter to me now. I feel like I need to just open up to all the possibilities that I keep controlling right out of being possible. So that I can try Ebay and Etsy and any other art making shop that is out there now like Society6. Why the heck not? Because it smacks of effort and I am no longer a seller of things? Pish and Posh.

Sometimes we need to dispel the spells that we cast. Because it’s what we believe we can or can’t do that will move us on or keep us put where we are. Manifestation is so much easier when you have permission.

Can you think of a story you need to throw down the disposal?

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