I Can at Least Keep It Subdued

I Can at Least Keep It Subdued - girl looking out at lake

*Sigh* It’s been a while since I’ve made a Fun Fact Friday post. One reason is because there’s a lot going on in my head, and forming a coherent string of thoughts for a blogpost feels exhausting. Another reason is the challenge of coming up with something people might find interesting, lol, but I think today I’ve got one.

Last week, I told you about a surgery I was going in for. Of course, anxiety tags along—shoot, even someone without anxiety probably feels it then. It just comes with the territory. But it’s situations like these where my response can be, well, embarrassing.

Many times, I’ll react to high anxiety situations by pulling in, withdrawing. If I’m being honest, that’s my reaction of choice because I can keep things in and control what I “let out” (even if it’s obvious that my anxiety is high). But when my anxiety is coupled with nervousness, my automatic reaction isn’t to pull in, it’s to push out—I get hyper.

For years, especially in high school, people thought I was an extrovert because of my “hyperactivity.” That was about as far from the truth as one could get. It wasn’t excitement or a desire to be around people; it was a mask to hide my insecurities. A defense mechanism I didn’t even know I was doing. I mean, think about it: what better way to hide your terror and vulnerability than to do the complete opposite?

I was well into my twenties before I had this epiphany. By then this automatic, knee-jerk reaction had been going on for well over a decade. I recognize it now, but habits are hard to break—especially ones that happen without you noticing.

I’ve gotten better the last several years. Believe it or not, my anxiety diagnosis helps with it. I can recognize certain situations as potential trigger points and make a conscious effort to combat this reaction. That happened last Monday as I was being prepped for surgery. I warned the nurses that I get hyper when I’m nervous. They were kind, and understood.

I’ll be facing another trigger point this afternoon. Today, I’m having the stables holding the incisions closed removed. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, but the thought of going through the removal process terrifies me. Even as I sit here typing these words, I can feel the movement in my body building, and the urge to jump up and pace all around exponentially climbs.

I Can at Least Keep It Subdued - raging waterfall

But I’ll get through it. I always do. My plan of action is to tell myself, “Get through the next ten minutes. Ten minutes and it’ll be over. Ten minutes and I’ll be home-free.” Having that finite timeline helps. Deep breaths help. No, I won’t be able to completely eliminate the nervous energy forming inside, but I can at least keep it subdued…kind of.

‘Til next time!

Amélie

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