On Having a Full Plate and An Anxious/Obsessive Mind

This has been a weird week for me.

Over the past few days, I have been in a constant state of mental struggle. It's worrying me, because this is the first time in a while that I have felt extremely anxious about life for more than an hour or two. I've been grumpy, and emotional, and overly sensitive, and ridiculously hard on myself about the things I have or haven't been accomplishing. I'm tired, and having to force myself to do things even though I'm super unmotivated. It's a really terrible feeling.

Since I have struggled with anxiety for basically my entire life, I've learned to try and pinpoint where the negative feelings are stemming from when I'm feeling this way. What is going on in my life? What am I doing well? What am I failing at? Where is my time and energy going? Can I change any of these things to make myself feel more relaxed?

While driving to work yesterday morning, I asked myself these questions. And, what I discovered can essentially be summed up in one sentence: I have a lot on my plate right now.

Life is busier than it has been in a while for me. I have a lot of responsibilities, and a lot of personal commitments. I'm now working two jobs, I'm trying to sort out my finances, and I'm really trying to eat healthy and get to the gym most days of the week. I like, and need, to keep up with my blog for my own sanity, I have a ton of upcoming expenses that are kind of just lingering above my head, and if my house doesn't stay clean...I feel like I'm going to lose it.

My obsessive compulsive disorder developed when I was young, so I honestly don't know what it feels like to NOT obsess over everything. I can make a million to-do lists, but my brain still refuses to relax. I find little relief in crossing things off of said to-do list because I automatically move the obsession associated with that task over to another task so there is twice as much obsession. "Taking one thing at a time" has always been ridiculously difficult for me, which results in my brain looking like this 99% of the time:

I need to finish that task at work NOW. But wait, have I paid that bill? Do I have money to pay that bill? Oh, I still need to send out the invitations for the bridal shower...that can't wait. Why aren't I teaching more classes? Maybe parents don't want to book me. What's wrong with me? How am I supposed to make money if I don't teach classes? Did I finish that blog post for tomorrow? I should probably respond to blog comments. Dammit, I didn't make the bed this morning. I really need to do laundry. I should have done that last night. And the house is a mess. Why haven't I lost any weight this week? What is wrong with me? And what about that work task? Am I doing a good job at work? Maybe everyone secretly doesn't like me. But wait...the bridal shower invitations!

I know that things will slow down, and I know that this phase will pass, but for now...I just needed to get it off my chest. I've been blogging for a long time now, but it's still difficult for me to post these more "honest" posts. All I can think about is how everyone has a lot going on, and how everyone has difficult weeks. But, then I remember, that maybe someone who also has anxiety and OCD needs to read this today. Maybe they need someone to relate to, and someone to assure them that it's going to get better again.

For now, let's just remember this:

"Sometimes, the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best."
Kristen from Pugs & Pearls said...

Gosh, so relatable!
If it makes you feel better, you aren't alone.
My need to obsess over everything has improved as I've gotten older and as I've simplified my life. I have never done well when I have too much on my plate-and I can feel your feelings so vividly right now.
My only suggestion is to write it all down in list format. Then order it by priority. Then just tick it off, one thing at a time (groundbreaking, i know).
It was illustrated to me like this: If you need to fill up a bucket with sand and rocks-put the rocks in first and then the sand can fill the cracks. If you try to put the sand in first, the rocks won't fit. So do the big things first and then the little things like cleaning and making your bed can fall in behind that.
It's just a little strategy that helped me find a little clarity in the chaos!
Thinking of you and I'm glad you shared!

Torrie said...

Sometimes I wonder if I should go get an official diagnosis because I often relate SO MUCH to other people when they talk honestly about their anxiety. For me, the biggest thing that seems to help is to go off of social media for awhile (a few days or a week if possible). I don't usually stop blogging (because that's a positive outlet for me), but I find that social media is often a major source of anxiety for me without my even realizing it half the time.

Here's hoping that things mellow out soon and that you'll reach some kind of equilibrium again because constant anxiety is the worst.

Thanks for sharing this. I love honest posts like this.

Vicky Hunt said...

I'm sorry Randa...I was just talking to granny yesterday about how your anxiety has seemed so much better lately. I didn't even realize hwo stressed you were. You do have a lot on your plate right now and it can be suffocating but you know how to prioritize. You will get more students soon I'm sure. I didn't even realize you already had some. Praying you get everything worked out. I know you will. I am always here if you need me. Love you always, Mama

Kay R. said...

Having dealt with anxiety before, I can relate. Hoping that things balance themselves out for you soon! :)

StephTheBookworm said...

I feel like I honestly could have written this myself. No joke. Our brains must work in very, very similar fashions. I'm glad you shared because it really does help to know that we're not alone with our anxiety and obsession struggles. <3

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