4 Ways Through Anxiety: Birthday Edition

It's a month before my birthday, and I'm nervous.

Is that weird, to be worried about celebrating at 26?

Probably, right?

It isn't that I'm worried about turning 26. Because, I don't know, I guess I don't really care about that part. But I'm just worried that this year is going be...hard.

I mean, you guys remember last year. What a day. It was magical, if you want to know the truth. I was really excited to be 25. And I was even more excited because I felt like I had so much to celebrate. I was so happy. And I had so many people in my life that I wanted to be happy with, on my birthday.

This year is different, of course.

I think it's obvious - but I'll say it anyways - it isn't that I don't have people in my life now. Really, that's not the case. There are many wonderful people in my life that - every day - make me happy.

But they are spread around in my life. And I think - maybe as childish as it sounds - that this is really about being let down. That, maybe, this is really about being worried that all the black clouds that hang out in my life day-to-day will be there on my birthday.

So that thing that they say about depression, loss of interest in your life that's true, we know that. I think you can see that is true for me from time to time. But do you ever hear how anxiety gives you fear of disappointment in your life?

Because I get that one all the time.

What if it's not a good run?

What if my birthday is just me, by myself?

What if I can't buy a house in my 30s? 

What if I am always alone?

Honestly, I could go on.

But the reality is that sometimes there is a fear that pulses through me, and it is literally just about living my life.

Yes, that's more anxiety than anything else. Of course. The sense of dread and fear that I feel just about leaving my house sometimes, let alone celebrating, that is anxiety.

So how do you cope, right? Because the birthday is gonna come. And the reality is that it could be me, the dog, and some Moe's. And we all know that I am the type of person that would let that get to me.

1. Well, make a better plan.

When it comes to anxiety, my number one solution is always to make a better plan. Because my anxiety likes to poke holes, in everything. So it's my job to fill the holes before they open.

If that means I'm gonna bake myself a dang cake, so be it. I'll buy the cake mix. If that means I'm gonna go for a long run, great, I'll make plans for Peeks. If that means I need to plan breakfast, working hours, lunch, and dinner, then I'll do it.

2. Also, stay away from things that make it hard to be happy.

Seems simple enough, but again, gotta work it into the plan.

So for me? That means not feeling guilt about food, and not worrying about making other people feel validated on my day (side note: should we talk about emotional labor? As an empath I'm constantly working on knowing when to shut my emotional faucet OFF, but... God. Tanget. Sorry.)

I'm gonna stay away from the notion of have tos and shoulds and must-hit milestones. 

3. While you're at it, have an escape route. 

If I have to get the hell out of dodge - which often happens with me and my anxiety. I need to know I can, and how. Usually, that just means an hour of driving around in the car. But sometimes it is four days of seclusion in my parent's empty house.

Either way, you gotta have a way "out," that works for you. A way to find your off switch.

4. If you're going to feel left out, it's on you to find a way...in

FOMO is real. And FOMO with anxiety is...kind of insanely persistent?

Especially when it comes to big events or to-dos I think it's consistently important to remind myself that I cannot feel bad about feeling left out, if I'm not going to make an effort to be let in.

This works for just about everything. But essentially, if I want to be with people, I know that I have to make that effort. And frankly, that it is going to take a lot of effort. Because 9 times out of 10 it is really easy to let me, convince me, to stay home...in bed. Alone.

And that's it.

That's my plan.

I mean, we are a month out. I have time to make a plan, and get my act together, and stop being so stupidly scared of a date on a calendar.

So here's to recognizing anxieties as they come? And not acting like I can't just wish it away? Because a girl with a plan is unstoppable? Or something like that?

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