I am an anxious person. When I say anxious, I don’t mean the nail chewing, lip biting for a few minutes kind. This is an all-consuming, chest tightening, vomit inducing monster who chooses to take over my bodily functions at the drop of a hat. Seriously. All of my bodily functions. I’ll leave the details up to the imagination.
My anxiety monster rears its ugly head primarily over matters completely out of my control, involving my loved ones. Today, for instance, it was sparked by the news of a bad accident on a highway my fiance may have been driving on. Yes, you read that right. May have. In all honesty, I don’t think he was, and I don’t even believe that the accident even occurred in the direction he was traveling, but just the thought of the slimmest chance of his involvement was enough to send me into a shaky, sweaty tailspin.
You see, if it were up to me and the anxiety monster, I would be the master of all the puppets in my life. I envision myself sitting up in the clouds, wisely navigating my family and friends away from any situation that may harm them. I knowingly smile as I slow down the car while it approaches the curve in the road. I shake my head with disapproval as I shrink my mom’s tumours –‘ not this time, Cancer, did you forget who was in charge here?’ The fact that with current technology as it is, this seemingly is not possible, has been a great source of frustration and — yep — more anxiety.
Here’s the kicker, while my anxiety monster may try to convince me that this insatiable desire to manipulate the lives of everyone around me is for their own good, it is actually highly damaging to my various relationships. My fiance ‘G’ bears the brunt of my behaviour (or, that of my anxiety monster) and to say it’s wearing on him would be a gross understatement. The fact of the matter is all I can control is my own behaviour, around said loved ones. As much as I whine and complain, claiming to myself and anyone else who’ll listen that I have no control over A.M., I do. It’s me, not some predatory alien who has taken my body as his vessel. If I choose to behave in a way that puts my family at ease, rather than help them to create their own mini monsters, perhaps my own stress will slightly diminish. If I choose the alternative, however, I will almost definitely push away the very people I love so desperately, I wish I could keep them safe in a bubble for all time. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty counter-productive to me.