When does this grown-up thing happen?


There are times that I just want to stomp my foot and say “I just want to be a grown-up.”  Grown ups are suppose to have left all their irrational fears in childhood. Grown ups are suppose to make decisions and go forward. Grown ups are suppose to always know what to do. Grown ups are suppose to be laid back and having fun, its the kids that do the work doncha know.

So something other than chronic pain issues have been creeping back in. The anxiety monster is appearing again.

At what age do we say we are grown? I suspect when our wonder of life is fading and we feel we have at the very least adequately satisfied our thirst for knowledge.Does that really ever happen? Im not sure.

I  have alot of issues with anxiety. I just want to feel confident and sure about my decisions like I see others appear to be. I think that is the key word, appear. I want to stop feeling like at any minute some authority figure is going to lecture me on the things I am doing wrong. Sometimes its a parental figure other times its some kind of law enforcement.

I have gotten pretty good at hiding them and just not voicing my fears. Some of that actually came from voicing them and getting told I was being ridiculous. Well yes , they are thats the whole irrational fear part of OCD. Its not like I don’t know I am way over thinking things. I found if I just let them bounce around in my head then people didn’t look at me like I was crazy. They wouldn’t be able to blow off my fears with a shrug if I never said them.  I have gotten good at hiding behind my sarcasm as well. Normally when I go over the line with my sarcasm it is typically because its hit on a big anxiety issue.

When I was growing up it wasn’t called anxiety. We are a family of “worriers” I was told. When does worry move over to anxiety. For me? Always. It took years on medication and in therapy to get to the point I am today. Sometimes I can overcome my anxiety and talk with others and try and develop friendships. There are other times though that I just can’t seem to start a conversation with others. Then when I am safe back in my car I start thinking why couldn’t I just relax and talk with them. Once I get to know you though, you can’t shut me up. Well I guess you could try.

This is the one area I can safely say having a kid has been both helpful and dreadful at the same time. Its been helpful as I have enjoyed talking about parenting and kids in general with other parents. Its been dreadful because it also puts me in social situations that I would typically avoid. Playdates can be especially hard for me in this area.  Its also been dreadful for anxiety wise because as a parent you are always wondering if you are doing the right thing. Its not like parenting has a manuel or anything. There is also so many varying opinions about every aspect. When my ocd was bad I had no ability to discern my decisions at all.  I still get that way just not as much nor as severe.

By the time I actually reached the point that I could admit I needed therapy it was bad. Then just as I was starting to feel like I was getting somewhere I started getting sick. I can’t tell you how many times I stayed up late researching my symptoms. I struggled to figure out what was going on.. It was only made worse by most of my issues being invisible illnesses . Not only did I have to deal with doctors who either didn’t accept Fibromyalgia or were convinced it was just my anxiety. I was lucky that my primary care doctor had known me for so long. She knew I knew my body well.  I would go in with lists and ideas and even some idea of a diagnosis. These were rarely less than two pages long.

But as I am sure you can understand the very fact that I was right something was wrong, only made things worse.

I think the biggest thing I hate about anxiety is it leaves me feeling like I am still a kid. I am not saying I am old here.I mean in the you are still under the rule of someone else and having to abide by their rules type kid. I just want to feel like a grown-up.  Then the question is what does being a grown-up feel like? It must not be like not knowing what it feels like to be pregnant.  I had always wondered that and it all clicked into place once it happened to me. Maybe that is why I keep wondering this grown-up thing. Oh look there is that circular argument starting up again.

Anxiety eats away at you little bit by little bit. Just when you think you got one area snipped off and safe, it attacks another area. Once you get the paranoia under control it starts eating at your self esteem and on and on it goes. It can not only spiral on like this but it can also spiral very quickly.

Lets also not forget about how anxiety can just leave you unable to do anything. I often refer to it as procrastination but its not really that either. Its a form of denial in a way. It really can’t be defined except that I am so worried about something I just keep putting it off. Only addressing it when it can no longer be ignored. I hate this part too. I want to deal with it but I just can’t. Nor can I verbalize WHY I can’t.

There is also the things I do to burn off some of the anxiety without actually dealing with it. The checking things, the writing lists, the cleaning, and probably my most hated, biting my nails. Sometimes I notice right away, other times it kinda smacks me between the eyes. Once I recognize it though I usually deal with it.

I also don’t really like to psycho-analyze myself very much. I have seen what happens when you don’t do it at all,so alot of the times I force myself to do it. There is a funny thing that happens…..the more I don’t want to do it, the better I feel once I have done it. It wipes away the anxiety. It can and has restored my self esteem. It is a good thing to do. Its a healthy thing to do. Its something I know I HAVE to do to maintain my mental health.

So between parenting, chronic pain and illness, and anxiety. My brain rarely stops.


One response »

  1. I used to be extremely high anxiety. If one thing went wrong I would start walking a path in my mind that would somehow inevitably end up losing my house.. all the way too my very survival. I understand. One day I was so over the mark, I went searching. I wound up at a buddahist temple. A kind woman sat me down in a small kitchen. After listening to whatever the plight was that had consumed me, she asked me a few questions. “When did this happen to you?”. I replied “This evening”.

    “Is there anything you can do about it?”

    “No, I can’t change the past ”

    “So…she said…. if you can’t change it then it is behind you, focus on what is here in the now and future as these are the things you can exert control over.

    I had never heard such common sense. It changed my entire perspective.
    She sent me home with an apple, an orange and a bottle of water stating she had “cured” my perception problem and these items were what my physical being needed. Then the last thing she said was “go in peace”.
    And I did.


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