Anxiety and Intuition. Has kind of a nice ring to it, flows well, doesn’t it? Someone who didn’t speak English might think that was the title of some classic love story. A tale of a love that overcomes some epic struggle. Unfortunately, they are the epic struggle, inside my brain, either competing with or feeding off, each other. Both scenarios are challenging.
When anxiety opposes intuition, the battle is a series of small skirmishes. With anxiety holding up some what if, some might have, some worry, and intuition calmly and rationally (with logic whispering words of approval and support in her ear) debunking all that anxiety tosses at her, often as quickly as anxiety can whip it out for debate. With intuition as an opponent, anxiety cannot win. Eventually, anxiety will tire of digging for new supporting information and concede that intuition is probably correct, retreating to regroup and find more on that subject (or something else to worry about). It is an endless cycle, an infinite, loping dance. While anxiety appears to take the lead, intuition, with the help of her sisters logic and reason, will eventually gain control. More dangerous, by far, are the times anxiety and intuition are on the same page.
When anxiety and intuition agree? That is when the true challenge comes. The pair of them together can drag one down the rabbit hole into the darkest depths. Unfortunately, this happens anytime intuition pings on something negative. The worse the inkling, the quicker anxiety is to chime in, “yes, yes, oh definitely, how wonderfully terrible.” Give the pair of them some supporting facts, and they will open a pit of despair so deep, I need every tool I know how to use to climb back out. That happened at a doctor’s appointment this week, or catalyzed there, I suppose, is more accurate. They began to team up on me a while back, and, luckily, the pinnacle of their hysteria didn’t hit me until the wee hours of the night, when they woke me in a frenzy.
For a few months now, I have not felt right. If you know me and my medical issues, you might be laughing and saying, well, you aren’t quite right, and yes, that is true. On the best day I’m definitely a solid mess, but something is wrong in a new way. Intuition has some ideas. Or is that anxiety? See, when they team up, it can become really hard to tell which voice is which, and who started this whole mess anyway? Did intuition throw the idea on the table first, or is this one of those rare occasions when anxiety triggered intuition and gave it a push? It is a chicken vs egg kind of question there is no hope of answering at this point, the Doctor just said the exact word this pair have been whispering about for months.
There it is, manifesting itself outside of my head. This time it definitely didn’t come from my anxious mind. My heart leaps and falls. This is not the only thing he says, of course, there are other things that could be causing my issues, but those blur into the background as my mind locks onto that one word. My mind races through ignored symptoms that I’ve lived with for I cant honestly say how long. How long have I been having these issues? The fear stabs deeper as my mind casts back, seeking the start. It’s far. Excellent coping skills and symptom management strategies have let me ignore this for months. A cacophony of thoughts attack me one after another in an endless barrage, procedures skipped, appointments missed, the long list of dangerous medications I’ve used in my battle.
Telling myself i cannot panic until after I have answers, (pretty funny lie for someone with anxiety) I struggle to focus on making a plan and leave the office with a mind abuzz with questions I’m not ready to wrestle with. The one thing I’m sure of, Intuition and Anxiety are definitely on the same page now.
Knowing the powerfully destructive force the two become when united, I shift very quickly into anxiety management mode, pulling tools from the kit I’ve gathered over the years, seeking solace so I can get through the rest of the day without spreading my panic to loved ones. I’ve found myself strapped to an anxiety and intuition fueled bull, if I don’t get on top of it, it will kick my ass. So, hold on tight and make it my bitch it is, at least until I know where we are going.