anxiety

I’ve been sitting at the Rosebud Cafe for an hour and a half.

I’m in Denver, Colorado, enjoying a weekend of relaxation and all I have to do is make sure I ship my newsletter every day. That’s all I’m holding myself accountable for this weekend.

What should I write about?

My eyes dart outside to my surroundings. There’s a woman working in her garden across the street. I notice that this street corner doesn’t have anything distinctly “Denver” about it.

Maybe there’s a connection I could make between the fact that everyone here is just like everyone back home. We all have hopes, dreams, problems…no that sucks. That’s overdone.

I feel pretty isolated sitting here. In Columbus, it’s difficult to go to any coffee shop without seeing someone I know and can say “hello” too. I complain about it all the time. It’s distracting! Poor me – I just have too many friends!

But here, I don’t know anybody, and nobody knows me. There’s no reason to say hello, no mutual experience, no reason to care about who I am at all.

Life can be super fucking lonely. It’s really easy to feel important when you’re surrounded by people who know who you are. But you’re a nobody. 

I realize that my inner monologue has shifted to the third person. I’m disassociating.

Then I realize I’m biting my nails, which is a pretty nasty habit I picked up a few years ago.

Probably too much caffeine…oh there’s a jug of free water over there. That’ll help.

Time keeps passing…I switch over to scrolling through my Evernote document titled “Journal Ideas.” This is the third time scrolling through this list.

These all suck. Maybe I should write about how afraid I’ve become to write bullshit. 

Which is true – I’ve noticed a trend that somehow, you know when I’m not as into a piece. Open rates are slightly lower, click rates are slightly lower, an unsubscribe or two will happen.

If I’m not into it, you’re not into it. And it’s hard to always be on top of my game.

Come ON. Just think of something worth saying. Something real. You’ve done this 95 days in a row and today is no different.

I’m pressing. That’s what they used to call it in high school sports; when you’re “pressing” you’re being simultaneously too careful and too reckless. It’s ineffective.

Then I take a deep breath and realized today’s piece was right in front of me.

This is what anxiety looks like for me. It’s pretty infrequent – just seemingly random frustration, verging on anger, with myself. Lowered self assurance. It’s definitely anxiety with a lowercase “a”…I know it’s a far cry from what some deal with.

I also know that it’s probably due to body and brain chemistry. I woke up at 3:30am EST today to fly to Denver, and I’ll probably be up until nearly 2am MDT (4am EST).

I know that today I’ve eaten poorly, consumed too much caffeine, drank almost no water, and didn’t get any exercise.

And I’m a huge fan of a recent Invisibilia episode about Emotions that argues emotions are a concept that we’ve learned or self-taught, but don’t really exist inherently.

We can choose to interpret our brain signals (like the signals I’m receiving that I’m defining as frustration and anger) and interpret them differently (e.g. I need to drink more water).

I’m aware of all of that. But that doesn’t always serve as a silver bullet to deal with the issue. But, I know tomorrow is a new day and things will plane out. And I appreciate days like today becauase I know the sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour.


Hey, can I have your email address? I will only send you more articles like this one.