Monday, June 20, 2011
It's the Laughing
The thing I am learning about anxiety is that I need to talk it out. As an introvert, I tend to keep my tensions inside of me. I have this idea that I can manage them internally. While that is true for some of the time, it takes a whole lot longer and sometimes gets a whole lot bigger before the anxiety whittles away to nothing. But by that time, I have stopped laughing, stopped singing, and stopped skipping.
Over the past few months, I have learned something about myself. I like to express my anxiety in a hugely dramatized extroverted fashion. As a matter of fact, this is how I need to express my anxiety. Anxiety feels large. It swells and gets puffy. It balloons outward and needs to release a lot of hot air. I used to think that this was a negative outcome because my family interpreted these dramatic interludes as complaining or as something else that caused them discomfort. I think they take them personally and feel intimidated by the force of their exhalations.
And that is what I do. I exhale my anxiety in big swelling breaths. Like Shrek says, "Better out than in." I realize that I just need to inform the listeners that I am simply blowing a lot of dramatic hot air. Nothing personal. I do this with my CPE peers, and because they are not emotionally invested in my anxiety, I can get really dramatic. I make it "huge-er" than it is in reality, and it becomes comic relief for all of us. They laugh, I laugh. They laugh harder. I laugh harder and sometimes snort, which is embarrassing, and then I laugh myself into that suffocating state that hurts the gut and makes the mouth ache.
Really, I think it is the laughing that I love most about anxiety.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes