I have anxiety. I have had anxiety for a really long time, but I never realized that it was a problem until one day I chewed through my lip. I didn’t even realize I had done so until blood ran down my chin. When I’m really anxious, I have some tics that come out. I rock back and forth. I scratch my leg or arm or hand or head rhythmically. My brain sends thoughts in circles. Sometimes it’s like chanting. “Oh no, oh no, oh no ohno ohno ohno…” Sometimes it’s lists of things that I have done or could do wrong. It feels sometimes as if my thoughts are a murder of crows that are easily startled and dart in every direction.
In spite of this brain-buggery, I deal with it pretty well. I have a very solid relationship with my favorite person in the world (that I didn’t birth) and that helps immensely. I have an army of friends. I have a job that brings me pleasure and co-workers who make me laugh. These things all help so much. I have my kids, my writing, my pets, my readings. I also have Xanax. This helps, too, when I need it.
I do a lot of readings for people who have mental illnesses, too, and I think that being able to say, “Yeah, I’m not Depressed, but I have Depression’s uptight cousin, Anxiety, following me around.” helps me relate to my clients. This isn’t to say, obviously, that one needs a mental illness to relate to people who have them, but it helps, you know?
When my friend/client called me last night for his reading, I was honest with him. I told him that I had a no-good, very bad, awful day, and that it just kept spiralling into More Bad. The tics showed up and I was attentively scratching a line into my leg while we were on the phone. I told him that the Anxiety was bad today, and that the reading that I would give him would also be bad. We made a plan that I would give him an email reading the next day, and we’d follow up with a phone call if necessary. He told me he loved me and I told him I loved him back, and then I went to sleep.
As a reader, I need you to feel confident in your readings. I need you to take good care of yourself so that you can take care of your clients. As a person, I can advise you regarding what works for me, and let you know that I get it.
When you are feeling overwhelmed – sadness, anxiety, depression, just a bad day. Go to the basics. Make sure your basic needs are met and then get some sleep. That’s sometimes all you can do in one day, and I tell you – That Is Okay.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do it again. And again. And again.
Touch base with someone you love.
Vent. Write it out, yell it out, cry till you have the whiffles and your face hurts.
Be sure you’re physically safe.
Take medicine if you need to.
Go to sleep.
If you can do these things – if you can make sure that everything that you can handle right now is taken care of – everything else will wait. The worry and sadness – it might still be there tomorrow. The difference is, you’ll feel strong enough to deal with it. And if you’re not strong enough tomorrow, there’s always another tomorrow coming around the corner.