Anxious Avoidance

Comedian Tom Papa said it's hard being an adult in his recent standup special. I met some people at a podcast conference one year that were doing a podcast on 'adulting.' When I think of that term, I think about those adult things like paying bills. I know I am not the only one who avoids those adult matters until the last possible minute. Especially those expensive tasks, like getting quotes to fix your HVAC or get a new roof put on the house. It's draining to have to jump through the hoops. Perhaps this is the real lesson from university, if it is uncomfortable, put it off.

Unfortunately, living with anxiety means just about everything is uncomfortable. When my partner brought up vacation time that she has coming up my jaw tightened and my heart raced. I wanted to escape. Avoid the discussion because I am afraid of the unknown. Similar to the anxiety caused by the unknown estimates I would receive to get the HVAC fixed.

If I take the time to dig deeper, there's much more to this. Firstly, I do not deserve time off because I am not doing enough. Second, efforts to do more cannot be scheduled or happen if I am on a vacation. Third, I am to return to my volunteer position around the same time she has vacation.

There's a peer pressure, that is really my internal voice and not necessarily from peers that drives me to follow through. If I say to someone, eventually I will bungee jump, I feel ashamed until I take the leap. I fear people are judging me for lying. In all truth, it is me and some all or nothing thinking. Additionally, this is how I have motivated myself for years, shame. So when I told a friend recently that we would get together next month, I feel like I cannot because of the vacation time. I cannot continue with my progress jornaling, and building my art portfolio and site because I will be on vacation.

Finally, my volunteering is a sort of distress for me. I've had time off, but that ends soon. I don't think I am ready to go back. Is it one of those things that feels this way, but once I am there I will be just fine? Or, am I really burned out and done with it because it is a source of trauma? Can it be both? I think it may be. I feel that it may very well be.

There are rational solutions here. I can simply move plans to get together with friends. I can return to my artwork after vacation. I can have further conversations with my volunteer supervisor. Emotionally, those sound awful. I want to crawl under the covers and disappear.