the way it is

Author: angiem, 05 30th, 2010

While I have been guilty for years, I have admitted to myself just recently, that for all my easy going and fun nature, I am an anxious person.  It helps, of course, that my mother was and is anxious.  I suppose that somewhere along the way it rubbed off on me.  I remember instances as a child and teenager when I’d agonize over things I had said, or feelings I may have hurt, by my flippant remarks.  The apprehensiveness was assuredly propelled along by my dear ones figuratively washing my mouth out with soap.  As a young adult right out of high school, that anxiety to be whatever my so called friends wanted me to be, to believe whatever they wanted me to believe, regardless of denouncing my true self in favor of what I was convinced was wrong, caused much internal anguish.  Since then, I have learned to speak my mind and stand my ground, even if unpopular to some, and yes, I have lost friendships in some instances.

Pregnant with my son and talking about the birthing process with my mother, my aunts, my sister and my friends, all of them brave women who had already experienced it, the anxiety lessened.  My sister, a big reader herself, recommended all the right books, non-fiction and fiction, and I willingly devoured them all.  The A Baby Story show helped as well.  As the big day approached I spent countless hours watching birth after birth, until I realized one day that I had no worries about that anymore.  Possibly that period of my life was the most worry free. I recall one night, spooning with my husband on the couch watching some show, and being swathed in tranquility.  I was happy, calm and content.  Then my son was born.  And I began to worry that I’d die before I had a chance to raise him and see him grow and I prayed as never before for good health, a sound mind, and old age.

As my son grew and then I had my daughter, concern about their well being, my well being and my husband’s well being became the accompanying white noise needed in my life.  When we used to have a TV, the Oprah Show and the local news were the main instigators of anxiety.  Now, of course, it isn’t as bad.  I get that rush of adrenaline from reading the papers.  Undoubtedly, underneath all the unease, is fear.  Fear of failure, fear of the evil humanity is capable of, fear of disease, fear of all that is out of our control, fear for my children, my nieces, my nephews, the children of my friends, fear for my aging parents, my sisters, my brothers, fear for their fears.  All wrapped up with a big, fat bow of anxiety around it and presented to me.  Somedays I accept it, frantically pulling it open by it’s barely sealed edges, somedays I demurely refuse, and others, I rudely hold up my hands and shake my head, wanting nothing to do with it.

I have won a darling April Cornell towel giveaway, courtesy of my fabulous friend, Bunny’s generosity. Stop on by and prepare to be enchanted as you visit The Paris House.


41 Responses to “the way it is”

  1. French Fancy Says:

    Oh Angie, this does seem such a shame. To so many on the outside of your life you seem to have it all - looks, beautiful children, a handsome husband ,riches and security. But you let us in now to your inner torments and we see that however lucky someone appears to be they are still subject to negative and damagine emotions.

    Is there a medical professional you would think about going to visit? It might be a good idea to try and nip this in the bud. Repetitive thoughts that damage us can be removed with CBT - or so I have heard from friends with a similar mindset.

    Thinking of you

  2. sharon Says:

    Oh Angie, do you know many caring mothers who aren’t anxious? When I remark on my children’s lack of anxiety or inability to stress, the reply comes that they don’t need to worry because I worry enough for the whole family. Maybe that’s part of our role, to reassure that there is someone there as a sort of safety net, a back-up, a protector against the big worries.

  3. Diane Says:

    I think we all suffer with anxiety at times. I think that fear is our biggest additive to it. I could never watch those baby shows because they would actually make me more nervous.

    Congrats on your lovely win!

  4. Susan Says:

    I hear you, Angie. I’ll be back but just wanted to say it. It’s not always under my control & I have to take other measures….but back to my ocean sounds & the cat who awoke me (unusually actually) for a hot meal at 5am.

  5. Jessica Says:

    I know what you mean here. Before my kids I was a very serious person, but not anxious. But now that I have kids, there’s a lot of room for fear to invade. I try to remember verses and that really helps.
    Perfect love casts out fear and God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.
    I like those two. Esp. the second because being fearful makes me feel crazy!

  6. Ava Says:

    Oh, I so relate! My anxiety gets so bad I have to take medication. Blame it on the culture. We’re a society obsessed with bad news.

  7. Becky Ramsey Says:

    Fear is such a stealthy, grabby monster. I battle it too, some days more effectively than others. Whenever I feel it creeping up, I remind myself that if I let it, it will steal joy that’s meant to be mine. And if I’m not careful, I’ll accidentally give it to my kids, or anyone else around me.
    I think it’s very interesting that whenever scripture shows God speaking to people, God always starts off by saying, “Fear not.” It’s a hard command to follow, but I want to get good at it! :)
    Beautiful post, Angie.

  8. Sabine Says:

    So insightful.
    I sometimes wonder if anxiety is a feeling that befalls people who feel very responsible. Plus treatments to wash your mouth after you’ve said something ‘wrong’ certainly don’t help to install confindence. I’m not religious, but in the end I often think ‘These things are out of my control’ and just relax.
    Wishing you a lovely extra long weekend, Angie! xx

  9. Jena Says:

    Worry, worry go away
    Don’t come back no other day!

    My attempt at lightheartedness sucks!!!
    So does worry and I worry plenty but I don’t suck. {{Hopefully!!!}}

  10. Beth Says:

    Perhaps we believe that by anticipating “the bad” with our worrying and anxiety, we can prevent it from happening? Intellectually, I know we can’t, but still…
    Or perhaps it is simply in our nature to do so? I wish I could learn to let go of that part of me.

  11. Bebe Says:

    Yeah, I know. I am so anxious too it’s crazy. Drives my man nuts, that’s for sure!

  12. She Writes Says:

    I think most of women have been there. At least I tell myself this ;). I love your heart.

  13. Mary Moon Says:

    I agree with all the mothers here- we have all felt that fear, that anxiety and yes, I think a lot of it is our culture which shoves every tragedy down our throats and makes us aware of them all, even if they are thousands and thousands of miles away. There is no place of rest from it.
    When it gets to the point where it interferes with your ability to live your life, you must seek help. I’m not kidding you. I know.
    I don’t think our brains are wired to live in this world, especially if we have a propensity towards anxiety to begin with and sometimes we need help.

  14. angiem Says:

    Just goes to show you, doesn’t it, Julie? A friend asked me this morning if having such a handsome husband worries me or makes me happy. She was surprised when I told her that it makes no difference. It’s his heart that I love and that his sweetness toward me and the children. My anxiety has nothing to do with him, but everything to do with my fearful nature, and of course, upbringing.

    You are so right, Ms. Moon. I keep thinking I’m not there yet, but somedays it just gets to me more than others, so I don’t know. Last night it was horrible. All I wanted to do was get the kids in bed with me and hold them close.

  15. Ruth Says:

    I had a teacher who once said that she would be worried if we were not worried enough. A test should cause some kind of anxiety, a college application should cause some anxiety, etc, etc. I suppose anxiety can help us go over how to do or not to do something. It might help us plan or prepare. It might help us to remember to say I love you and mean it. But I hope it can remind you that indeed you are a caring person, no matter what others (friendships you’ve lost) think.

    We love you and miss you! Can’t wait to see you all again sometime!

  16. pretty far west Says:

    I think the media, for their own ends, burden us with a lot of anxiety about things we can do nothing about. Best be anxious for the small things, hope for the best, and teach our children to be anxious only to a sensible degree.

  17. Gigi Says:

    As a lifelong worrier, I empathize with so much that you say here, Angie! I don’t have kids, but I worry about my husband, my mum, my nieces and nephews, my siblings, etc. I worry about my future and my cats and global warming and cancer and that horrible oil spill and . . . well, it would be easy to let all this worry consume me. I try, try, try to transform the worry into something positive. I use it to fuel my creative process, which often works pretty well. I also think some measure of worry is a vital part of living and caring about ourselves and others. The challenge for me is always to find a balance. Like you, some days I can, and some days I can’t. I remember in high school when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a “friend” of mine said, “finally, your life isn’t so perfect.” It is easy for people to assume others’ lives are perfect, but we all have worries, sometimes even crippling ones.

    I love coming here. You always make me think and feel a little deeper and with more care. Thank you, my friend.

  18. Allegra Smith Says:

    How I wish I could take that away from you and put it where it truly belongs: nowhere in your life. I was very fortunate. I was taught at a very early age that to worry about something was like a prayer for something one does not want to happen. It took root.

    I love mine to despair but I do not despair over the loving. I just live each moment to the fullest. I cannot do a thing about the past or the future. The present is mine and
    I don’t want to muddle either the past or the future with it. That is what I call a waste of life.

    Of course not watching tv for nearly 25 years probably had a great deal to do with this :)

  19. Bunny Says:

    Dear Angie,
    When I read this post I felt better knowing I am not alone in my struggles over my anxiety and fear. Before Children I wasn’t like this…such a chronic worrier. It comes in waves almost drowning me in fear then it passes for long periods of time because I refuse to let it take over. Its hard though. I can’t watch the news! I try to listen to all the people around me who tell me not to worry about the things we can not control and to try my best to keep everyone including myself well. Again its not always that easy. My 16 year old son is off for his first driving lesson now, I’m a wreck! I love your writing, you are brilliant.

  20. Jeanne Says:

    Angie…your last sentence says it all for me. So true.

    Fear and worry can be all consuming..standing up to it, owning it and putting it in it’s place is half the battle. When you can master that…life get’s a little easier…

    Jeanne xx

  21. Corinne Says:

    I’ve spent countless nights of sleep up with not only a child, but with my good friend anxiety… over the smallest things turned huge.
    It’s hard to turn it off.

  22. Christie Says:

    Thank you for sharing your occasional feelings of anxiety.
    Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who feels this way. Now I see that as a mother, I am not the only one who feels the fear of the world closing in. Like you, most days I refuse to concentrate on what “might happen” and enjoy what does.

  23. Elizabeth Says:

    Listen to the lyrics of John Prine’s song called “Blow Up Your TV.” At the very least, you’ll get a laugh and perhaps a respite from worry.

    Love and peace and freedom from anxiety to you!

  24. Mwa Says:

    Angie, I could literally have written that entire post. Not as well, of course, but the content: absolutely. You-me: same.

  25. Lori Says:

    I tend to be very anxious too. Always waiting for the worst to happen. I try to control it as much as I can. I think mothers especially are plagued with it. How can we not be. Still, we cannot live in fear like that all the time, right?

  26. Francesca Says:

    Sometimes our inner self is not the best or the easiest companion to live with. Anxiety can be paralyzing. Hope you can see beyond it. Hugs Angie.

  27. jane Says:

    i´ve so been there. p.s. i haven´t watch the news in years… :)

  28. Kori Says:

    I believe we all deal with a certain amount of anxiety on a daily basis, but one of the things I have learned is that the things I worry about or am anxious about usually do not happen, but instead something come from the blind side and knocks me on my rump. Therefore, I really really really try hard to NOT worry as much, because for me, the reality is that there is so much I have no control over that I can make myself sick-and if I do, then I can’t deal with the legitimate crap.

  29. angiem Says:

    Gigi, I am hoping that the anxiety would kindle the creative process. I am sorry to hear you’re as anxious as I am.

    Mwa, except you have the pregnancy as an excuse…

    Thank you, friends. :)

  30. laura Says:

    Thank you for spelling it out for me Angie! I am a new and happy mother of a 7 months old baby. I have recently become aware of my attitude towards “what may happen” changing, but it was only after reading your post that I realized that I have become a new member to the “worry club” and for sure I do not enjoy it. We have been blessed with a beautiful, healthy child, but it seems like I spend more time worrying about what might happen than “counting the blessings”. Thank you for sharing this with us. It was a real eye opener for me.

  31. angiem Says:

    Laura, I wish you all the best. Children are blessings, but the worry clubs welcoming parents with open arms really suck.

  32. Ange Says:

    Never did I worry until I had 3 little blossoms to protect from all the evils I know exist in the world. Bit by bit they will leave the nest armed with the wherewithal to protect themselves and enjoy life to the fullest. In the mean time, I love having them here at home. safe.
    Not a care in the world - like I was when I was young. Not a care in the world… Hugs

  33. audrey Says:

    Angie, thanks for sharing such a beautiful picture with us…

    when you write about your fears, somehow you remind me that we are not alone in our fears.

    i was just saying a prayer recently asking for help with my fears… i feel encouraged, and i pray for peace and calm for your anxieties too. we are sisters and we encourage one another…

    sending lots of love!

  34. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    I think some of my anxious tendencies must have rubbed off on me from my dad. Now I’m trying to let my Father show me that I don’t need to worry. I mean - in my head - I know I do not need to be anxious for anything, but sometimes my heart still worries. So I listen for the voice of God to calm my anxious heart.
    Ahhh, so thankful for His patience with me!

  35. laura Says:

    Oh, I so relate to this one, Angie! I remember those death fears when my boys were babies. My greatest concern was that no one could love them like their momma.

    Now that they are older, I have different anxieties :) I have a feeling I’m just getting out of the gate.

  36. mrsbear Says:

    We have a lot in common. lol. Some days it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all these anxieties. It’s so much more complicated as a mother because you have so much more to lose. Your perspective changes so much when you become a parent. I honestly try not to think about it so much, but sometimes the news or something related will just bring it all home. Sometimes praying is the only thing that eases it.

  37. Relyn Says:

    I love the days that you proclaim a resounding NO to the anxiety. Life is too short.

  38. Holly L Says:

    Angie, about 99% of this post hits very close to home. I am getting better…we have some things going on right now with job/work and for the first time I find myself not sitting up worrying, wondering, packing (when there is no where to go yet). Do I like the situation, no, but I am dealing with it much better than ever before.

  39. corine Says:

    I know now that anxiety goes hand in hand with empathy, and the ability to really feel things. With the good comes the bad.

  40. Ligia Says:

    I just posted this… is so great… I hope many people read this… It is beautifully written and I think many people would share with you that anxiety “thing”… what can we do as humanity to have better perspectives, more positive? optimistic? I wonder if what we read is just the real world or just the lens of what sells…

  41. Lorena de Dik Says:

    Dear Angie, I wish you can understand me, because inglish is not my language. Here it goes, reding your paper, I remember myself and a big part of my life, all that fear, worries, anxiety, apreehension, thath i have felt along my life, sometimes do not let me enjoy very especial moments, put in risk very important relations. I look for help, psycologist, teraphy groups, and always it ends trying to makes me thinks that is a normal part of the life. I have been catholic all my life, but when I really holds my faith, and learn to worry about the things that I can control or changes, and put in Good hands the others. I wash my brain every day to worry about the things that i can work on, i do my best effort every time, I pray for all the things where i need Good to work with me. But all this way of living and see the life star the day i listened to Juan Pablo II, DO NOT BE AFRAID.
    I have talk about this with people from other religions and not religios at all, and is the base, do not let the fear control any part of your life, do not loose time and experiences. Step by step, day by day your life will change.
    I wish you the best.

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