THE DOWN LOW

Them: Mom. Mama. Momma. Mommmmmmyyyy.

Me, holding up one finger and still staring at my keyboard: Hang on, this will just take a minute.

Spoiler alert: that sentence has never been true in the history of my time on Earth but I still keep saying it because maybe someday it will. Probably not. But maybe. #believetoacheive

Yep. So. . . I’m a working mom of three and that’s about as easy as it sounds and almost as fun too, some days.

I’m also a small business owner, a yoga teacher, a credentialed K-12 teacher, a wife, a friend, a writer, a community leader, a . . .

Serial overachiever with a moderately sized Anxiety disorder.

So there’s that fun fact on which you can ruminate.

Here’s another fun fact- despite having lived a lifetime full of intrusive or obsessive thoughts, some OCD-like behaviors, regularly occurring flare ups of paralyzing fear, and occasional panic attacks,

Until early 2018, I didn’t actually realize I had Anxiety.

I saw anxiety as a thing that happened TO me, as something I experienced when things in my life got stressful. anxiety, lowercase “a,” not “Anxiety,” uppercase A,  “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

Lucky for me, my therapist says I have excellent resilience, which not only gives me gold stars, it also explains a lot about how I was able to spend about 37 years oblivious to the obvious.

Like most people, I’ve used several different coping skills to mask and deal with this my whole life. Doing the most, for one, has been a consistent default practice, and has served as both a blessing and a full lecture series of lessons for me. I’ve maxed out my units, worked up to four jobs at one time while in school, over-exercised, filled up every hour of the day with activity, maxed out my credit cards multiple times, and generally spent my days trying to warp time and fit in as much as physically possible into every moment.

I now recognize that this was me coping with my own feelings of inadequacy, FOMO, and serious avoidance of anything with indefinite boundaries, because, hello, ANXIETY, but I just wasn’t there yet.

I’ve also coped by making plans, with impulsive decisions, by literally running away from my problems, with hiding, humor, and for sure too much wine on more than one occasion.

Ironically, when I originally named my blog I called it “I Calmed The Fuck Down,” believing that I had, in fact, already tamed the dragon that is my Anxiety. A second marriage, a third baby, and a business laughed me right back into my humble seat and reminded me that the work does yet continue, and suggested I gracefully accept that reality.

Thus, the blog is called I’m Calming The Fuck Down, and includes notes, ideas, and lessons from my journey. This space is where I tell my story of me. It starts in 2013, early in my blogging game and very clearly before I found my niche, and continues through now, where I’ve refined my focus and audience and centered my work around Anxiety.

My greatest wish is that my words may be of service to others, that my stories serve as a teacher for me, but also for you, and that I may remind you that no matter how hard it gets, how messy it gets, how spun out you are,

You are not alone, you are whole and complete exactly as you are right now, and you are loved.

 

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