The Mighty Logo

When Having Anxiety Means You Are Often 'Busy' Trying to Cope

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

“I was busy; but not in a way most people understand.

I was busy taking deeper breaths.

I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.

I was busy calming a racing heart.

I was busy telling myself I am OK.

Sometimes, this is my busy — and I will not apologize for it.”

— b. oakman, “Anxiety Doesn’t Knock First”

So, today I was”busy.” Most every day, I am “busy.” I’m really not sure why this has to happen at the most inappropriate times. All I know is I feel very sad and very lonely. I often say to myself, “How do you feel lonely, Kelly? You have five children, a boyfriend, and a mother and sister who text or call a million times a day.” I try telling myself I’m not alone, but it doesn’t work; the loneliness just intensifies. I am lucky in the sense that I understand what is happening, and I try reaching out for help from anyone I can at that particular time. Today, I tried reaching out, only there was nobody available.

I went out hoping it would calm me, but it didn’t. I had no other choice but to reach out, so I parked the truck and tried contacting friends and family. All I need is someone to talk with, to tell me everything will be fine and I’m safe — just someone to remind me I’m OK. As I started texting in hopes of reaching someone, everyone was busy with their own day-to-day lives, which is completely understandable. I don’t often say when my anxiety has taken control of me, because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.

After trying to calm myself for an extended period of time, my sister finally called and managed to somewhat calm me. It seems my sister is the one person who can calm me. I am and will be eternally grateful to her, but I feel like such a burden. She has her own life, and then I call and she drops everything to help me. I feel like I probably cause her anxiety, and I’m so sorry for that. I feel like a burden to so many. I feel like people say, “Oh gosh, it’s her again; it’s always her. Does she think everything revolves around her?” I wish I could handle the anxiety and depression on my own; god knows I have tried, but I can’t. I don’t believe it makes me weak. It takes a lot of energy to go through an episode; it mentally and physically takes everything out of me. Once these episodes pass, it can take a day or two to recover. I am usually exhausted and have feelings of guilt for days. Add to that five children and an infant who is still not sleeping through the night, and I am yearning for sleep.

I never know when these episodes will happen. It seems things just build up inside and decide to explode when I least expect it. It’s the calming down that’s the hardest for me. With Christmas last month, I struggled a little harder. I struggled to pay my bills. I struggled to buy Christmas gifts, I struggled with not being with four of my children at Christmas (for the first time in their lives, which was 11 years). I struggled with my family being separated at the one time of year when I feel families are supposed to be together. I’ve had to struggle with emails from my lawyer’s company wondering when I’m going to make a payment. I struggled with the fear of my cancer returning and reliving those days over and over in my head. I could list the struggles for days, but where does that get me? It gets to a place of being “busy,” and “busy” is not where I want to be. I long for the day that anxiety and depression are no longer a part of my life!

Image via Thinkstock.

A version of this post originally appeared on myunexpectedjourney2016.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Originally published: January 10, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home