When Anxiety Trumps Your Plans

I have lived with anxiety most of my life. I don’t let my anxiety define me and other than my family and close friends, most people might not even know that it is an issue I deal with. Before having children I was consistently an anxious person. Surprisingly, after I had children and got through their newborn stages I believe that my anxiety has improved.

But sometimes I still let my anxiety get the best of me. This weekend was Junkstock in Omaha. This is a huge fun “junking” festival that happens in Nebraska once a year. I have wanted to go for a couple of years now, but for one reason or another have always been busy. This year I was 100% free. Jeremy and Brecken had a fishing tournament on Saturday so it was the perfect opportunity to do a girls day with Annabelle and go junking. My mom and best friend had agreed to go and everything was set up. But then my anxiety got the best of me and I talked myself out of it. “It is too far of a drive,” I said to myself. “You won’t buy anything anyway.” And then I started worrying about the crowds and the parking and just being in a city the size of Omaha. So we didn’t go. The thing about my anxiety is, in the past I would try to logically justify not attending this event and tell myself it was actually the smarter decision. But this weekend I fully realized that it was just my anxiety rearing it’s ugly head.

Something I have done in the past 3.5 years since becoming a mother is, if I don’t want to attend an event due to anxiety, I ask myself “Would Brecken and Annabelle benefit from attending this?” If the answer is yes, I can convince myself to attend because I care more about their well-being than my own and I would never want them to miss out on anything because of my anxiety. That gets me through a lot of hurdles. But, I find it hard to convince myself to do things just because it would benefit me.

This weekend I decided, instead of making myself feel bad for being “defeated” by my anxiety, Annabelle and I would still go shopping with my mom, just on a smaller scale. We went to the farmers market in a nearby town. We walked around and looked at crafts and bought some jalapeno jelly (it’s the best over cream cheese with crackers). Then we went to Hobby Lobby and shopped through the clearance section and found some awesome treasures. After Hobby Lobby we went and bought Annabelle some shoes and myself a really cute outfit. After we were done shopping we went and had a nice lunch and then Annabelle and I drove home. She slept the whole way home and until Jeremy and Brecken returned from the fishing tournament.

We had a beautiful weekend despite missing out on Junkstock. Do you live with anxiety? What coping tools do you use that help you get through difficult situations?