Lately I’ve had to do some things that trigger my anxiety. I’ve had to make phone calls. I know that may not seem like a big deal to some people, but many of us with Generalized Anxiety Disorder struggle to call people. It’s not even that it’s just a struggle or that it’s a normal part of society today—most kids don’t like making phone calls either. It’s all texting and social media. But for those of us with anxiety it is so much more than that. It’s fear, worry, fretting, obsessing, panicking, etc. Due to recent changes in my life I had to make those phone calls.
Sometimes it doesn’t bother me to call someone. Calling the mortgage company, energy company, power company and City does induce horrible anxiety for me. But it had to be done. Someone without anxiety may have been able to make all those phone calls and take care of everything within a single afternoon. It took me a whole week—maybe longer.
Engaging in the things that trigger anxiety is absolutely exhausting. Imagine a non-runner participating in a marathon and running at full speed the whole time. Exhausting. Each phone call took so much out of me I had to only do one per day to give myself time to reset and recover. And that’s okay. I would guess some advice a marathon runner would give is to pace yourself. I’m not a 100% sure on that since I’m not a runner at all, but it seems like good advice, right?! The same is true of anxiety. In order to take care of everything I needed to accomplish I had to pace myself to make sure I didn’t overdo it—to make sure I didn’t keel over in a panic attack. I paced myself, and I did it. I made all the phone calls I needed to. I got everything taken care of that I needed to. That’s what matters.
This may seem like a small victory—but I consider it a victory nonetheless. When it comes to my mental health I can look back and see many tiny victories that have helped me learn, grow and manage my mental illness better. When you stack all of those little victories up it’s one giant mountain of accomplishment! I say we count the little victories—in any area of our lives—and recognize how far we’ve come. When we can see how far we’ve come it only inspires us and reminds us that we can keep going.