Opinion

I Don’t Deal With Anxiety Well

For the longest time I thought that I dealt with my emotions healthily. Sure I didn’t cry a lot, but that’s normal for Kiwis. And OK yes I did bury my rage whenever it came up, but at the end of the day I am very good at vocalising my feelings. I also try to give at least an hour to decide if my emotions are ‘real’ or reactionary. If you aren’t still angry or upset at something an hour later, or you’re still feeling that way after looking at it from the other person’s viewpoint, then you at least know if what you felt is how you actually feel.

After going to therapy it was pointed out to me that while being logical about emotions isn’t the worst idea when taking time to process your feelings, it doesn’t mean the feeling isn’t valid. I’ve always had a bad habit of downplaying my own emotions and through that process realised it was because I essentially saw myself as being manipulative if I were to do something like cry when angry, even if that wasn’t my intention. It’s still something I’m working on, and something I don’t think I’ll ever be fully comfortable with, but at least now I do the “bury it until it becomes too much and you burst over something small” less.

However my relationship with my anxiety is still deeply unhealthy, and I genuinely don’t know if I can change it.

Tomorrow is the day of my previously spoken about breast reduction. Having been to my appointment just last Monday my surgeon had a cancellation, which meant 8 days later I would be operated on. This gave me time to put my affairs in order and, like the type-A I become when anxious, I had everything organised and paid for in less than 24 hours. Since then I have been bordering on a complete nervous wreck.

I’ve been able to rationalise emotions for a long time. I have an excellent support system, and I both like and trust my surgeon. Financially, as I am proceeding with a private surgery totalling $15, 000 ($24,000 after interest for my loan), it could be better but I can do the repayments over the next 6 years. All in all I have thought about this, I desperately want it, I know the risk is very low, and yet I’ve been wanting to vomit (almost always) over the last week.

Rather than do something healthy to try and address it, I’ve been dealing with that feeling by quite literally feeding it.

This is something I’ve touched on before, and despite losing 12kg since March its something that I still can’t kick. The moment I feel bad my monkey brain overrides my human brain and starts shoveling food in. I have eaten more calories in a week than I have in August. And Google for once hasn’t told me I have cancer, but has instead pointed out I may have Binge Eating Disorder.

If you’ve ever experienced a light bulb moment with your personal or mental health then you’ll know exactly the feeling I had. When everything clicks into place, and you realise something you’ve been doing for as long as you can remember isn’t actually a thing everyone does or struggles with. So once the surgery is done tomorrow the next step is figuring out how to deal with this new and previously unexplored problem, and I’ll be starting with my GP.

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