Even though it isn't diagnosed, I don't think anyone who knows me in person or who has been reading awhile will dispute that I've got an anxiety disorder.
Free-floating anxiety specifically.
Acr0nym has stated he believes I've got mild agoraphobia. Not that I'm house-bound or anything but sometimes my anxiety is bad enough that it controls what I will do socially. Sometimes, when the anxiety is particularly bad, I don't want to leave the house...but I will. I make myself.
You may be wondering why, even though I know I'm full to piping hot brimming with anxiety, I continue to go undiagnosed and untreated. After all, this is the 21st century and there are pills for that.
The obvious reason is that I don't want to experience better living through chemistry. That sounds ridiculous given that I've encouraged many friends to explore medicinal options for whatever ails them. I've supported and cheered on family members for their own willingness to try a variety of prescription medications for their mental problems.
But for me?
I have some excellent natural coping mechanisms for my anxiety...exercise (if that plantar fasciitis would ever go away), meditation, deep breathing...wine if it comes to that.
I also have Lex who, during the worst of it, talks to me. He strips away the layers when I'm hyperventilating - picks up each dust-bunny encrusted layer, holds it up to me as though it's a dirty sock he's picked up off the floor, and asks, "What's this one? Where did it come from? Does it apply?" He does that until I'm soul bare and we can look at whatever is provoking the attack rationally...together. It's rarely much of anything except my own neuroses. And he's right there with me, looking at the situation, evaluating it, and telling me, gently, "It's OK. You're only a little crazy. It's OK. Breathe. It won't hurt...well, maybe a little, but I'm here."
Yeah, so, you know how I have this imminent first date? It's coming up rapidly. And, while we were making arrangements for said date to be held at a restaurant, I started to feel stupid anxious about something so trivial you sane people - or, at least, those of you without anxiety - couldn't even begin to understand.
I started to feel anxious about where, in proximity to the restaurant, we are going to meet. Keep in mind, this is someone I know - have known for years - in real life, face to face.
See, normal people just say, "Hey! Let's meet at Such and Such 'round 2" and y'all meet without further arrangement and it's excellent fun.
It goes a little something like this: "Should I go in? Should I wait outside? What if he's already inside? What if he's not and HE waits outside while I'm inside?"
And pretty soon I'm spinning out of control, ready to just pack it in and rush home to my pajama pants and a nonplussed cat.
So...we're making arrangements. And I'm afraid to say much of anything beyond, "Yeah, let's meet at Such and Such 'round 2". Except...I can already feel the anxiety swirling. "What if I'm there early and I don't know if he's already here waiting for me inside?" etc, so forth, ad nauseum.
Finally, I decide to ask if we can be more specific.
And then? A miracle happens. I decide to tell him why I need him to be specific. Because I'm anxious...because I'll worry I'm doing it wrong...because, fine, I'm crazy.
And you know what?
He said, "Just text or call me when you're near and I will be waiting right out front for you."
He didn't even bat an eyelash. Seriously?
Triple word bonus points.
So...I'm going on this date. And he knows I'm crazy. And he's looking forward to it.
He just got an extra Super Mario Brothers mushroom. 1 Up. Wow. I don't think that's ever happened to me before.