When you are anxious on behalf of another person, you rev up your emotions to a whole new level.
When bad stuff is happening to someone you love, it’s natural to feel some of the pain with well-place empathy and support. When you are a person with an off the charts anxiety disorder, this becomes a little more interesting.
My anxiety order pushes me to act. This is not always (rarely ever is) a good thing. The anxiety, when at its highest, pushes me to take on the other person’s situation and “fix” it. Of course that’s ridiculous and I would counsel anyone who asks to NOT DO THAT.
However, my anxious spirit is not rational and therefore, I find myself a bundle of nerves with nowhere to go.
I am incensed. I am helpless. I am furious and I am profoundly sad when this happens. Sometimes, my anxiety masks itself as a super strong woman who is always proactive and makes the right decision. Let nothing stand in her way! She’s got this. All will come together to a peaceful resolution.
What’s really happening is that my brain is firing all over the place with half-baked plans and false heroism. Truth is, I can’t immerse myself in other people’s trauma as much as I am naturally inclined to do so. That’s some serious hard shit to swallow.
My emotions and my righteous indignation lead the way and my logical self is usually back at the spa enjoying a facial.
Dammit, this is hard. I have no sage words of wisdom for you if you ever find yourself in this position. In fact, I think I know what the wise thing to do would be, but it’s not in me at the moment.
I want to rail against the god’s on my partner’s behalf. I want to take all the shit that is happening and deflect it all. I don’t have the answers, but I have enough fight in me to take it on. Trouble is, I can’t.
It is not my fight as much as I want it to be. I can be there, with my anxiety and all, and support his way through the pain and injustice. I can soothe where I can, advise where possible and be a soft place to land. I just have to dial back my own emotions and not make this about me.
Not making stuff about me is a very hard thing to do when your whole life is affected by your own anxiety and panic. I live in a bubble a lot of the time and I’m a magnet for other people’s emotions. Time to put my big girl panties on and channel that anxiety into a calmer, gentler me so I can be of some use.
I just have to find my own anti-anxiety switch and power the heck down first.
Oh and finally, just let me say, I hate mean, ignorant and vicious people whose sole purpose in life is to cause pain for other human beings. They suck.