Whoa, Confronting Emotion Makes You Feel Emotion

I did do my 30 minutes yesterday. Well technically it was around 15 but basically I thought for 15 minutes about Outside the Park Baseball 21 and while I think I do want to write about the fictional universe being created it’s not something I want to write about on a blog about facing my fears.

What I will write about instead is what I think is the most consistent anxiety outbreak I’ve had with no real stressors happening. My last post was from when I was dealing with insomnia from the anxiety that I was experiencing and the hangover from the rum I had drank and the sleep deprivation that took over and I think it made it worse. I’m also hoping that as I do more meditations to confront how I’m feeling I will unearth emotions like this.

The entire experience didn’t feel great. Truthfully I felt physically ill just from being tense the entire day and nothing I could do would break it. I wonder how much my desire to break it just made it all worse. Some real life things did happen as well such as an error with my unemployment that just made me deal with this odd fear of bureaucracy that I have going on. I also was told that my furlough was ending and I would be returning to work which is helping with easing financial stress however there’s fear to go along with that seeing as this pandemic is still going on and the details of where I’ll be working and whether my management position is still intact or if I’ll be demoted. There is a small part of me that was enjoying the prospect of not having to work for a while so there’s some mourning of losing the ample amount of freedom I was getting. Before the furlough I had been working a lot so I was pretty burned out from not having much time off so going back to that will be a little difficult. Plus I’ll be working with new people as there have been a lot of layoffs at my company so that triggers an element of social anxiety but I’m not sure if this was included in my panic or not as nothing specifically stood out though I could easily see me avoiding this notion just thinking “I should be thankful I have a job”.

I did come to a couple of different realizations though. One was with my generalized anxiety I pretty much go through entire days feeling tense and anxious. It’s kind of background noise and will get more or less intense depending on what thoughts or distractions I’m dealing with daily. I’m guessing as I confront these thoughts more and more I’m going to go from dull anxiety spread out over time to more intense clusters that come and go. Instead of letting the very unpleasant feeling of anxiety deter me from doing what I desire to do I’m trying to use it as motivation that I’m going into the right direction. A lot of times in the past I’ve used anxiety as a kind of a metal detector for decision making, the more intense I fear the more I’m going down a path I should be going and I should use that as a gauge. This isn’t always foolproof as I’m sure if I encountered a bear I’d be scared but approaching the bear is not good decision making, but I rarely see absolutes in anything.

Another thing I was doing was approaching shame for my decision making. I realize that the thoughts connected to everything I do are tied to thoughts of judgments that can never be changed and because of that I avoid facing it because I don’t want to be or feel like an awful person. What shifted for me and what ultimately helped me come out of this stretch of anxiety was changing the judgment to something I become less attached to. The things that make me anxious are usually tied with bad decisions. Decisions can be fixed through better planning so that’s what I did. I wrote a list of actions and goals I would take to overcome the things that were scaring me. Once I did that I realized I have more control and things can be fixed.

There is an extra obstacle to this that I now wish to overcome. Some of these involve waiting to complete a task at other times and there’s a certain level of uncertainty to a task that can’t be completed immediately as “waiting” becomes a thing. I’m seeing that when I can’t do something immediately I have to relinquish control to time a little bit and that is scary as I sit and hope stuff goes my way so to combat this a little bit I’m going to focus more on mindfulness and letting thoughts float by like clouds or leaves in a river (sorry if this seems like a connection to something I’ve written before, it isn’t but it’s an analogy I’ve been given by numerous sources) I also have to start accepting that I can’t control everything and with that acceptance I’m certain that some of the anxiety that isn’t useful will fade.

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