I Love Lucy and Anxiety: What is Happening vs. What Is Seen
Do you feel that no one understands what you are going through when it comes to anxiety? Anxiety shows up in various ways where it is displayed one way but feels very different. Sometimes you may not even know what the anxiety is “telling” you. It shows up, takes up space and energy, and leaves you feeling exhausted and stressed.
Let’s look at some things that are seen to better understand what is happening when it comes to anxiety.
What is seen: Thinking and overanalyzing situations, expecting the worst.
What is happening: “I want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. I need to be able to predict and be in control of what is going to happen”.
What is seen: Plans are canceled at the last minute
What is happening: “I am feeling overwhelmed and can not handle someone else seeing me like this and I won’t be my best self”
What is seen: Having an outburst and being seen as moody or irritable
What is happening: “It is hard to have the mental capacity and energy to ignore the little things as it has consumed me with worry and stress”
What is seen: People pleasing
What is happening: “I am nervous to confront this person so our relationship does not end”
What is seen: Need to know every detail of a plan ahead of time
What is happening: “I need to be prepared for all things as I cannot handle the uncertainty of not knowing”
What is seen: Needing constant reassurance
What is happening: “I am unable to trust myself and the decisions I make so I need someone else to tell me I am doing the right thing”
What is seen: Not responding to messages timely
What is happening: “I feel overwhelmed and shut down as I feel safer than trying to put together the right words for a response” it can also be “the message is causing me anxiety and I feel stressed out that it is better to not respond”
What is seen: Trying to predict the needs of someone else
What is happening: “I want to avoid someone else being upset with me so I need to make sure I meet their needs”
What is seen: Perfectionism
What is happening: “If I do not do everything to the best of my ability then I am not good enough”
The intensity of these situations can have a range. The more you try to dismiss the anxiety, the worse it gets. When you are presented with the situation again, it can feel even more intense. And the cycle continues.
Anxiety is like when Lucy (I Love Lucy) is in the chocolate candy factory.
The anxiety is like the conveyor belt, it is triggered and you try to keep up. You do your best to keep up with the anxiety, trying to attend to everything, in this case, every chocolate, that is coming your way. Eventually, you can no longer keep up which is when she starts to put the chocolates in her mouth to hide the mistakes.
When the factory manager comes over, Lucy is hiding the chocolates. It is much like when someone comes over to you and you are doing your best to hide your anxiety. You try your best and may be able to do so, but it does not work every time.
I also do not want to discredit the other things that come with anxiety. Anxiety shows up in more than just thoughts, it can show up in other ways like physical symptoms. You may feel nauseous, experience body and headaches, digestive issues, sleep issues, changes in appetite, and more.
There is hope in finding relief from anxiety. Anxiety can be lessened and you can take back control!
You are not alone, I am here to help! Contact me to find out how I can help you.
Blog Disclaimer - These posts are not meant to treat, diagnose, or serve as a replacement for therapy. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact your local crisis center or dial 911. Here are more immediate resources as well.