Progress, not perfection.
I believe I was born with uncontrollable anxiety. After years of therapy, I understand that about myself. I am an intense person. I am all or nothing. I don’t do things, unless I can be the best or give it my all. I commit my whole heart. When things don’t appear to be going well, my anxiety takes over. It is hard to describe. Almost like a weight on your chest. Or a cycle on your mind playing the worst thing you have going on over and over. I can find the only mistake I have made and make it the shining star of my thoughts. I am currently doing that right now at my work.
It is hard to understand what it feels like I suppose. I am finally giving it my sober 100% and I seem to be back at square one. That is just devastating to me. How can I be trying and not getting anywhere? I know what I am doing. I have done this a million times. I wrote the proverbial book on customer service in so many ways. Starting at a low paying hourly job is killing me. I am trying my best. Yet all I can think about is where I should be. I am not there for a reason. I am not there because I chose alcohol over my future. Yes, it is a long twisted story with many excuses, but that is the bottom line. I have to start from now. From today.
I drank to quiet my anxiety. It would help for a moment. I like the saying, “Alcohol is not the answer, it only makes you forget the question.” It made me forget. I liked that. Now I don’t. I want to remember everything now. Sometimes I am SO frustrated sitting at the bottom, watching people less talented than me above me. I will constantly think about that. Then when I make a mistake, even though it is miniscule, I can only think about that one mistake. That one thing. That one thing cycles in my brain repeatedly. I can’t seem to make it stop. I forget all the tools I learned in therapy. I cry. As usual. I cry. I am a 30 year-old woman crying about nothing. It isn’t nothing right at that time. It is my everything at that time. To people with anxiety, we can’t see past that moment.
I recover much quicker than I use to. I know it is up to me. I know I am in control. I am medicated. When I am not medicated, I can not control my thoughts. I feel trapped. I feel short of breath. I feel like I do not belong in my skin. I do pray that my Vivienne is not like me, that she does not have clinical anxiety. There are many things that make me great. I truly believe that. I love my self. I have never had low self-esteem, but I have always struggled to function with anxiety. The more we learn, the better. The brain is a complex thing. I don’t think there is anything to be ashamed with when discussing a mental diagnosis. This is who I am. I think people shy away from things they don’t get. I know I will never be cured of anxiety, but I will get better at controlling it.
I also know that things won’t go my way all the time. Getting continuously knocked back down, is difficult for anyone. For a recovering alcoholic with anxiety, it can be really bad. I feel like I am doing alright all things considered. I need to focus on God’s will, not my own. I want everything yesterday. Patience. No one wants to pray for patience though, you just might get it. I know I am extremely blessed and I am so grateful. I hope I can manage to give back even a little of what has been given to me.