Faith · Family · Health · Perspective

The Anxious Mind

The anxious mind. Last night as I was tucking my 10yr old into bed, we started talking about having busy brains. I have an extremely busy brain. My son does as well.

The thing about a busy brain is that it never stops. All day long, ideas, conversations, and second guesses roll around. In recent memory, I’ve not experienced a truly blank mind. Never have I enjoyed the pleasure of just…. quiet.

When my husband got home late last night from fall (soybean) harvest, I asked him what he thinks about as he cuts. He said “nothing.” My response “Really? Like… Nothing?!” How is that even possible? He said the hum of the combine, the constant feeling of the machine, and all the dust billowing up lead to a quiet nothing. Of course he’s still aware of what’s going on around him, but his brain isn’t also processing phone calls he needs to return, conversations he had with customers, or how he’s going to juggle getting T to the campout Friday night. He does have situational anxious moments, but it isn’t a constant barrage in his mind.

Yoga, meditation, prayer. I’ve tried and continue each of these on a sporadic, regular, and frequent basis, respectively. The only place I’ve felt close to quiet is when I’m running. Then, the kicker is that I have music blaring in my ears but my body is mostly focused on breath and gait. Still not completely quiet, but all my senses are pointed towards supporting the run.

I started talking to a therapist about 5 weeks ago to help sort the thought cloud out. The events of this year pushed me past the realm of my typical coping mechanisms. Do you know the character Pig Pen off of Peanuts? It’s not dirt, but the thoughts that swirl around in my mind feel like that cloud. The cloud is claustrophobic. You want to burst out in all directions, but yet don’t have a pathway to do it.

Peanuts Comic by Charles Schulz

Part of me thinks that all these conversations I’m having with her seem frivolous compared to the mom with post-partum or the woman who lost her husband that are likely part of her clientele. She told me to stop second guessing myself because we all have our things. Goodness, if I could just take out the second guessing part of the mind cloud…

The step I’m working on to shine a light on this darkness is to talk about it. Anxiety had me boxed into thinking that I couldn’t talk about anything non-functional with my husband, family, or friends. “Everybody is dealing with things, so don’t add non-positive issues to their plates.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anxiety thrives in hidden environments, so bring it to the light and talk about it.

My anxious mind is amazing. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Anxiety. It is a liar.

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