Mud Can Only Do So much.

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I had a good running weekend – did 8 miles on Saturday and then 15 on my favorite course on trails on Sunday. It put me in a good mood. I’ve doing okay with food the last week as well, taming my nighttime binge therapy. This has kept me in a decent mood too. In other words, this weekend was good. Which put me in a better place than I’ve been in awhile.

Never underestimate the power of getting dirty to cure anxiety. It’s hard to not feel like you can conquer the world when your legs and shoes are covered with a thick layer of mud.

Then, this morning I was catching up online and suddenly I had that sinking dread feeling. I sat here and was trying to figure out – what was the trigger? What did I read or see that had me crash with anxiety so suddenly?

And that – right there – is the problem with anxiety. There’s no concrete triggers, nothing you can easily pinpoint: Oh! I have a big project due at work! I’m stressed! Instead it’s a small email that reminds other obligations, a Facebook status that you worry might have been misread, a tweet that alerts you to the stress of someone else, an irritating comment that gets you a bit angry. It just doesn’t take much at all and suddenly you feel your heart in your stomach, the sense of dread just rising around you, and while everything that has ever stressed you out floats to the surface – threatening to smother you.

It just pisses me off. I was feeling better! I had a good weekend! I drank a lot of really good beer and got muddy in the mountains! Why did this mystery trigger have to rise up and take that away?

So I try to remember the calm and the joy that the trail run gave me. Or the warmth that snuggles with the kids gave me. Or satisfaction from conquering a stressful day without hitting the ice cream in the freezer.

And then I just get pissed off when it fails. Which – for the record – SIMPLY MAKES IT ALL WORSE.

Which is why I’m doing whiskey shots at 4am today.

Kidding!

(Not that it sounds like that bad of a way to start the day.)

Although this does make me wish I could hit some muddy trails EVERY day. It does seem like a healthier way to cope with anxiety than a beer for breakfast.

5 Comments

  • Lisa

    I can sympathize. Mine tends to work kind of the same way. I think some of it is just “work” and “life” and all those grown-up obligations and things. I find myself starting to feel anxious and sad on Sunday evenings, I think in anticipation (and dread) of the coming week.

    I don’t have any suggestions, just know you are not alone!

  • Lindsey

    I hear ya. My triggers (before meds) used to be looking at my notes for tasks that needed to be done (and which I was avoiding), having to make a phone call (appointment scheduling, returning a call, etc.), and emails that I had long neglected to deal with. All of it would give me that sinking feeling of being overwhelmed and never able to pull myself out of the quicksand. It’s amazing how something that should be a little task that would take 2 minutes can be something that you actively avoid for weeks because of the anxiety it causes.

  • Heather

    You may be on to something–a beer-flavored breakfast cereal for when you wake up to a bad day. We could call it “Beerios”

  • Stephane

    I am the same way. All can be right with the world and then with no warning, my stomach is in knots and my heart is beating faster. I agree with Lisa, on Sunday nights I begin to start sinking into what I call the Sunday depression. I’m always anxious about what will be waiting for me at work or what the week may bring my way. I still have not figured out how to deal with it except to grin and bear it. For you it’s beer, I’ve considered a tumbler of wine each morning instead of my water 😉