I have a lot of niggling anxieties echoing away inside my skull. I can quieten them for a bit, but they inevitably come back.
What I’m anxious about I can’t really do anything to change. It either will be or it won’t be what I want.
I’ve had this same anxiety before, in fact, it’s common for me every three months or so when I have to have blood checked and then repeated till they’re at a level the doctors are happy with. It’s the same game each time, yet the anxieties won’t go away. Each time I find myself thinking, “What if they don’t go back down?” Without going into too much detail, basically, I often get ‘high’ results for some bloodwork and then have to wait for it to lower before I can commence with further treatment for a health problem.
A more logical side of me counters that thought with, “It’s gone down all the other times.”
But of course, my anxious side answers that with, “But what if this is the time it doesn’t? Where does that leave me then?”
And I’ll attempt to resist that thought, that anxiety.
But something I keep learning and re-learning like I’m stuck in a cycle of knowing it, but yet not quite catching up to the knowledge, is that resistance often makes the thing you’re trying to resist worse.
Another familiar feeling I often find myself trying to resist is anger. I’m all too aware of the possible reasons someone may be ‘off’ or be behaving in a way that may be anti-social. I’m all too aware because sometimes I’m one of those people.
And for little irritating things someone has done that knowledge usually prevents much anger in the first place.
But what if I’m aware of the myriad of possible reasons someone is behaving ‘anti-social’, but it’s happening every month, week, every day? Eventually, I reach a threshold where knowledge of any possible reasons for the person behaving in such a way no longer matter.
Once I get there, I find it hard to filter any anger out through the knowledge, because damn it he/she has trodden on me just too many times now.
But because of that knowledge and actually despite appearing like I don’t have much empathy with others, I’m often overwhelmed by other peoples grievances. This makes me wish my anger away, becoming frustrated by my anger and soon rather than it being a case of “How dare he treat me this way,” It becomes, “How dare I be angry.”
But of course, this doesn’t stop me being angry if anything it builds it up even more until I end up frothing at the mouth in rage.
Another thing I try to resist is physical aches and pains only to find they somewhat ease themselves when I just lay down and let them ache and let the pain be there. I don’t usually just lay there with it till I’ve tired myself out from a frenzy and simply don’t have the energy to fight it.
So this week I’ve been trying not to resist things as much. Sometimes I find I’m actually resisting the idea of not resisting…
But once I’ve managed to get to that space where I’m not resistance, it’s like I feel a weight off my shoulders.
Sure the thoughts come back at some pain, the resistance comes back as it’s so automatic to resist, but once I recognise I’m resisting and let it go I do find I just kind of relax into the pain so that the pain no longer feels as much of a big deal.
I’m still struggling to apply to this anger though, and I find myself still beating myself up about any anger and then becoming more frustrated and angry as a result.
But I am more used to physical pain than anger, so I guess the anger and anxiety stuff will take longer to get used to. One thing I do know, from times I have managed to allow myself the anger or any other negative feeling for that matter, it eases it so I don’t feel as much of a need to act on it.
Which sounded counterintuitive to me when I first realised this idea of resistance making it worse. I always thought, and still struggle with this though, that if I don’t resist it, surely I’ll just act violently to the person I’m angry at?
But the opposite seems to be true, the more I resist, the more I oddly react. Like the act of resisting just causes a snowball effect till I can no longer control my impulse to scream, “YOU FUCKING TWAT!”
In not resisting the feeling, In telling myself I’m allowed to feel angry I find there is less of an impulse to act, therefore less need to resist acting out the feeling. That isn’t to say there isn’t a momentary impulse of shouting, “You fucking twat!” that you have to resist. But there seems to be a big difference between feeling angry and then thinking, “I’m so fucking pissed off right now! Damn it, don’t be so pissed off!” and feeling angry and then thinking, “I’m so fucking pissed off right now, and I’m allowed to be pissed off!”