It would be nice if Anxiety Disorder could tell me what it wants.
“Hey,” it could say, “You need a nap.” Or, “Go eat some protein.” Or, “Put a sweater on.”
But no, all it can do is scream like a BIG DUMB BABY and sound the same alarm over and over again. Klaxon bells go off and sirens wail and the red strobe lights throw all sensory perception into a tizzy of surreal, confused urgency.
FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT NOWWWW!
But…fix what, exactly? Do I need to eat? Sit up? Lay flat? Stand? Is this a body thing or a mind thing? Take a rest, or get up and exercise? Just breathe? Drink some water? Go back to sleep? Or did I sleep too much? Do I need to go to the bathroom? Call an ambulance? Is there TIME for an ambulance, or should we just rush to the hospital right now? Should I try to Think About Something Else, or hyper-focus and cry it out? Is this just a post-stress blowback because of that problem that I actually solved this morning just like a real grown-up, or is it because of all the items on my ever-looming list of Problems Yet to be Solved, or is this the ricocheting echo of a problem from 10 years ago that never really did get solved?
Is there actually anything wrong at all? Is this a false alarm? Did some trigger-happy trainee neuron push the wrong button? Should I cover my ears, roll my eyes, and wait patiently for a re-set?
But no, all Anxiety does is scream. And scream. And scream. And like a harried babysitter, I try to guess what it wants, run down the whole list, and finally resign myself to just waiting until it screams itself out and returns to its dormant state until next time, which could be any time.