When anxiety bests you: a tale of me

I feel like I’m failing. Not all the time, but right now, in this moment. And not at everything, but at the challenges that I’ve put forth for myself. A lot of them have either been ~not that hard~, or I haven’t had the follow through to see they get completed all seven days of the week. I purposefully chose seven days because, as far as timelines go, that’s pretty much the shortest unit of time that holds any weight for a new habit or activity. I have been honest about this so far, so it’s not brand new information that I haven’t “completed” each challenge. At the very least, I’ve done one for three days. And at most, I have completed some for all seven days. But, I haven’t really incorporated any of the challenges as healthy habits. My spiritual, physical, mental health feels a bit stunted still.

Now, I’m supposed to be cutting myself some slack, so I am. I’m not blaming myself, or calling myself a failure (there is a difference, and not just semantically, between the feeling of failing and actually being a failure). I am calling myself out. I want to be held accountable, particularly to myself. I want to feel better, do better, be better, in a myriad of ways. There have been a lot of roadblocks along the way, though, and I feel impeded. Should we do a breakdown, a nice little review? Of all the things that have happened to/around/by me, and to the important people in my life…and how all of it seems to be adding up to this mountain of anxiety that sits on my shoulders and gives me migraines and nightmares.

  1. My mom died. It *still* sucks, obviously. I’m still struggling. “Still” both is and isn’t the right word, of course, because it is still a fresh wound, and I haven’t even started therapy yet — that’s today.
  2. I moved back across the country, into a new empty apartment, and furnished it from scratch — all while it was the beginning of the school year, and the season of Jewish holidays. [This is not a brag, it’s just a fact. It was hard and draining, as well as rewarding and comforting, to build a home in the midst of this chaotic start to the academic and Jewish year.]
  3. I acquired a new/old pet. Rosie has always been in our family, but she was never solely my dog; I’ve never lived on my own and had a pet at the same time.
  4. That pet has a mass that is in the process of being diagnosed…possibly as simply inflammation, possibly as cancer. If you’re wondering what my bad dreams have been about this week, then that’s weird because who thinks about other people’s dreams. But seriously, folks — they’re all not-so-mildly cancer, dog, or mom-related.
  5. I’m going to be an aunt relatively soon — which is actually just extremely exciting news! My sister is about to be a bomb mom, and my brother-in-law is gonna be a dope dad. That kid is going to be raised in the coolest village, I’m majorly pumped.
  6. And now that the holidays are over, my apartment is set-up, and I’m getting back into the groove of a schedule and everyday responsibilities…I have assignments! For class! Who knew, amirite? Seriously, a huge load of gratitude to my teachers, administrators, and classmates for being incredibly supportive and supremely helpful and accommodating.

So, needless to say (though I’m going to say it…because that’s what that phrase implies. It’s completely ironical), I have been living in a heightened state of anxiety.

Simultaneously, I do not feel like I’m failing. I feel like I’m beginning to thrive again, instead of just survive. It’s not all thanks to this blog, though it is definitely related. Being able to pour my thoughts out to the interwebs has helped me reconcile the tragic events of my life with the amazing gratitude-inducing elements of my life. Everything is not necessarily going to be ok, especially not right now, but I can feel okay. I can feel like I’m failing in one way, surviving in another (just holding on by threads), and flourishing in another. That’s how cloud linings work (to reference my first blog post). Not all that glitters is gold, and not all gold glitters. Whatever that means.

I have decided to redo this past week’s challenge, because being completely honest, I didn’t really do it. I did bake one thing and cook 3 things, but they are all tried and true recipes. I want to bake, fill my apartment with sweet smells, and gift that joy to this community that is holding me together. I want to craft that joy with my hands, let it sit, rise, and turn golden in my home, and then spread to all those I can reach. I want to live with all of my anxieties, stress, sadness, uncertainty, and also cut into the heart of life. Hopefully it has a sweet, gooey center, possibly filled with chocolate chips.

classic, throwback picture of Ima and me, for good measure

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