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June 29, 2014

This felt like it belonged here, too.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 1:29 am

I had the beginnings of an anxiety attack earlier today for reasons unrelated to what I’m about to talk about. I managed to shut it down early with quick acknowledgment, asking for help, and a lot of deep breathing — plus a very kind friend who came over and dealt with the thing that was triggering me, so that I could hide in my car until it was gone.

I’m still a little keyed up though. Which is probably evident from the massive posting spree I’ve been on all evening. (And this is only one blog.)

One thing I noticed, as I was sitting in my car coming down, was that I couldfeel myself coming down. This is something I’ve noticed before but didn’t know quite how to articulate until this time: When I have an anxiety attack (which I’ll differentiate from a full-blown hallucinogenic panic attack where effectively see horror-movie shit come to life; an anxiety attack is just one in which I have extremely distorted/exaggerated cognitive and emotional perceptions about what’s going on in a situation and how dangerous that situation is to me)…anyway, when I’m having an anxiety attack, I feel INCREDIBLY lucid. Like, I’m having all these very distorted perceptions of reality and they feel TOTALLY ACCURATE. I don’t feel like I’m hyped up, or freaked out, or on stimulants or anything. I just feel like, yes, obviously this thing is a threat to my safety and it’s appropriate and responsible of me to treat it as such. It’s only after I start coming down that I’m like, “Whoa, that was intense. I was really worked up. What the hell did I do?”

So, that’s weird.

Anyway. I am stressing the fuck out about money. First of all, who isn’t? (If you aren’t, please, for god’s sake, reply. I want to know your secret.)

I already basically have two jobs, and I am still up in the middle of the night scouring Craigslist for other potential sources of income and looking at other cities to see if they have more work opportunities for someone with my skillset. I’m really, really, really worried I won’t be able to make enough money to live on.

Thing is: I’m fine. Sure, I’m not independently wealthy or anything. But I have at least some relatively steady income, I have some government assistance, and I have some money I’ve saved up to live on while I build up experience and a client base. I’m essentially learning to freelance full-time for the first time in my life, it’s going to take me some time, and I’m going to stress out about money some in the process. I know this.

The anxious voice in my head keeps telling me that the solution to my anxiety is that I need to figure out how to make more money. But that’s wrong. I don’t need more money and, worst case scenario, I could still live and be okay on WAY less than what I’ve got. If I want to maintain a certain lifetstyle over the course of the next 40 – 60 years, then sure, I need to start making more money than I am now — eventually. But I’ve got decades, literally decades to figure that out.

Common (capitalist) sense says that the treatment for anxiety over not having enough money is to make more money. On the flipside, radical anti-capitalist common sense says that the treatment for money anxiety is to divest from the broken economic system. Each of these thing probably has some value in terms of the big picture — but, honestly, neither one of them is capable of solving my problem right now. I don’t have a way to make lots more money right now that wouldn’t also add significantly more stress to my system, and the things I’d have to do to divest meaningfully from the system right now would also add significant stress to my life.

Also, again, financially speaking, I’m fine.

But, for various reasons, I’ve also been cooped up in the house for weeks with almost zero exercise.

Worrying about money is probably one of my top three anxiety triggers. And regular exercise (along with meditation, sleep, journaling, and orgasms) are bare necessities for keeping my anxiety in check — all of which I’ve been doing less of than usual lately.

TL;DR: My money anxiety isn’t a money issue. It’s an anxiety issue. The solution isn’t on Craigslist, nor is it on any anti-capitalist blog. The solution is to go to the gym and work out.

Why the fuck did it take me this long to figure that out?

Originally posted on Tumblr.

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