Anxiety doesn’t always have a trigger. Sometimes it’s clear to me why I feel anxious: I am waiting on test results or about to meet with a new client. Sometimes, I find that my anxiety is triggered by alcohol or caffeine. I can often pinpoint something that’s making me anxious. I can say to myself: if I resolve this issue or once I get this information or if I avoid caffeine, I’ll be fine and relaxed.
Does it (always) make sense to take anxiety medicine when the world is truly an anxious place and anxiety is a proper response to some of the things that happen? Waking up today to learn that there was another mass shooting in a random place in the US on the same day makes me want to never leave the house.
I love to travel but there are so many moving parts and elements that I cannot control. I worry about forgetting something. This is magnified a thousand-fold when traveling, because if I forgot something I can’t just go back for it later or get it in a few hours. I start to catastrophize—like what will I do if I forget my medication? Or what if I forgot to turn off the oven and my place burns down while I’m gone?
I brought my same bad habits to my new work. I’ve been tutoring online and in person since the summer, because I wanted to have some way to contribute to household expenses as well as have purposeful work to do each day.
It’s rare for me to have an anxiety or OCD crisis nowadays. I see my therapist regularly. I have a medication regime that on the whole is working. I have changed a lot of things in my life to support my mental health. All of these things keep me fairly on an even keel.