Managing Anxiety – When Doing Everything Right Still Isn’t Enough

As you may know – I’m not too terribly close-mouthed about it, at least in some respects – I have a list- well, a tangled knot of . . . emotional problems, or mental illnesses or disorders or what the hell ever the ‘correct’ term is. ‘Glitches’, as Captain Robert Brown said last week.

Chronic depression, several flavours of anxiety disorder (probably social anxiety is the one that rears its head the most, though they’re messily interlocked), a handful of other things. I mostly have a handle on them, these days. Mostly without pharmaceutical assistance. That doesn’t mean that they’re not a problem, that I’m ‘cured’, or that I don’t have bad days. It means . . . I know some ways to manage myself and my problems and stay functioning. I have an excellent, though small, group of people who are awesome and supportive to whom I can say ‘I am facing this everyday task and I want to cry thinking about it’ or ‘the thought of going to this necessary event makes me feel like I’m about to throw up’ and they understand, even if not from the inside. They encourage and comfort and never say things like ‘there’s no reason to be upset’ or ‘nothing bad will happen just calm down’. (I understand the people who offer these are trying to help; it doesn’t.)

Recently I got a rather unpleasant reminder that ‘I have figured out how to handle my problems’ doesn’t mean ‘I can negate the ill-effects of my problems’. Continue reading