07 Mar 2013

I fight Anxiety, Anxiety sometimes wins.

9 Comments Uncategorized

I walked into my bedroom last night and started to shake. Not a full-on seizure kind of shaking, jut a slight shake that let’s me know I’m having anxiety.

My bedroom does not, as Oprah likes to say, “Rise up to meet me” when I walk into it. It does the opposite. It sits there, flaccid and sad, almost mocking me. It’s the bedroom of a college kid who still has her grandma’s furniture, painted green by her boyfriend 10 years ago. My boyfriend is now my husband. And the bedroom needs a makeover. Really quickly though…


Anyway, the state of my bedroom gave me a little bit of stress. I actually laughed out loud thinking, “I’m 41! When am I going to have a grown-up house?” My thoughts almost always thankfully, swiftly change to how lucky I am and how many things are far more important than the state of my bedroom. But the anxiety lingers.

Today I opened my bathroom cabinet and all of a sudden saw what was in there, not through my own eyes, but through the eyes of someone else who might open it. I am not exaggerating when I say 85% of the stuff in there was expired. And on top of the cabinet? TONS of products I haven’t used in over a year. Shaking, I calmly walked to the kitchen to get a large, black garbage bag. With each bottle I emptied into a ziploc bag, (so as to recycle and not put crap down the sink and into the ocean), my anxiety… Worsened. Thirty minutes later I was done with the medicine cabinet and a small drawer, still needing to tackle the big closet.

As I worked, anxiety-ridden thoughts floated through my head:

How does this happen?

Didn’t I just clean this all out, like six months ago?

Why did I buy THAT?

Do other people do this???


I pace. I eat. I shake. I pace. I stop breathing. I force myself to breathe. I pace. I triumphantly fill the trash bag. I shake my head. I repeat.

As I pace through the house, and often head to the kitchen, I see everything else that I’m doing wrong. There’s a stack of papers on the dining room table. My office, which was spotless two months ago, is unorganized again. Then there are the tell-tale signs of college-living. The ripped couch. The mangled floors.

I beat myself up. I call myself stupid and lazy and pathetic.

I force myself to breathe again.


I started cleaning out the bathroom about three hours ago. I’m a quick vacuum away from being done. It’s worlds better. Almost perfect, actually. But I’m sitting here on my laptop, shoveling kettle corn into my face, knowing I have to force myself to go back in and finish. I want to run away. I’m ashamed of myself.

I am not going to let the anxiety beat me today. I’m going to take five more minutes to finish my job, and then I’m going to take my dog on a long walk, until I can breathe again without having to force it, and without shaking.

I take full responsibility for the things I need to improve upon.

And I forgive myself.


It’s nearly five hours later. I’ve walked into my bathroom several times to see what I accomplished. It makes me feel proud. But the rest of the house is still glaring at me. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough.

I ate too much today and now I feel worse about myself.

But I took Bogie on a long walk and breathed. When Garrett got home, we set up a birthday party for Furby. I cooked a nice meal. We ate together as a family. G and I played Wii and laughed a lot.

I was on my iPhone too much. Something else I really need to improve upon.

I am a work in progress. It gives me great anxiety. But I am fighting to fight it. And breathing. And trying to keep getting better. And forgiving myself.

Do you do this too?


It is now Thursday morning and I feel like a different person today. I thought I’d let you know that in case you are like me. I’m going to try a new tactic next time anxiety hits like that. I’m going to project myself into the next day and know that I will be fine. And I will force myself to breathe.

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

9 Responses to “I fight Anxiety, Anxiety sometimes wins.”

  1. Reply Sherry says:

    That is normal for me. I have anxiety attacks and fought it for years. Then I finally gave myself permission to have medicine if I need it. I work hard on not using it, but I feel it’s so easy to get caught up in what we haven’t done instead of focusing on what we have done. Our laughter is important. Time with our family is important. I think you are doing a great job! 🙂

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      I’m in the same place, Sherry. I am not a fan of medications for MYSELF. I have totally given myself permission to take it if needed, though. That’s why there was Xanax in my medicine cabinet… Expired and unused. I think it’s important to take meds if you can’t get out of it on your own. It’s too much to do alone and it’s not fair to yourself or those around you. So far, my episodes have been tolerable, and I’ve been able to get out of them without it, using tools from my therapist. It was really bad for a while… Much better now. We need to BREATHE!

  2. Reply Laura Mashburn says:

    I think we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else can ever be. We all get overwhelmed, think we’re not good enough, think we should achieve perfection in every single thing we do. But, we are human. The dinners with family, playing and laughing with our kids, those are really the important things. G. won’t remember the state of the bathroom or the couch or anything like that. He will remember the Mom who made time for him, set up the Furby birhday party and played Wii. Those are the IMPORTANT things in life. Take care of yourself Lisa. Believe that you are a beautiful person!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Thanks, Laura. I totally know all of what you’re saying is true. Luckily, I’m getting much better at realizing this EARLY and breathing through it. I’m tackling this anxiety head-on. I’ve struggled with “I’m not good enough” my whole life, and now it’s manifesting in a difficult way. But I have it so much easier than so many people I know. I can DO this!!

  3. Reply Melisa says:

    You are on a blogging roll!

    I hate that you deal with anxiety: it sucks. I’ve dealt with it off and on too. You can do little things with your bedroom that don’t cost any (or much) money that will make a huge difference. I’ll call you up in the next couple of weeks and give you some ideas.

    Going through stuff and cleaning out is SO anxiety-inducing, but you just have to make sure you keep your eyes on the prize. Glad you did the bathroom! You’ll get to the rest in due time.

    Just take care of yourself. That’s the most important thing. xo

  4. Reply Christine says:

    Wish I had read this before I went on a freak out kitchen cleaning extravaganza Friday. It snowed, so we were all home. You’ve seen my kitchen. It’s small and cluttered and annoying. I am too good of a cook to have such a crappy kitchen (she says with humble modesty) and I often wish I had let clean house do the kitchen instead of the office which I am sad and annoyed to say that Bill has completely crapped up again. Soooo, anyway, I grabbed a bunch of “keep bins” (yes, I still have thousands of them) and some big black garbage bags, and I went crazy. There was much cursing and crying and gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair and stamping of feet. Because my tiny kitchen sucks ass and I hate it. But I got it organized. I threw out all kinds of unhealthy crap. I organized all my take-out-tupperware. I got rid of crap I don’t need and don’t use. I found things I though I had lost or tossed, including the belgian waffle iron I got at my briday shower 19 years ago. And not once did I recall that I had saved the bottle of Xanax from my chemo days. It has 47 1/2 pills left from a 50 pill perscription. I keep it, even though its expired, to remind me that I am OK even if I feel anxious. I have been through anxious moments before, and I know how to allow them to wash over me and let them go. So I, too, had an anxiety ridden spring clean out. And I feel so much better now that I can see things and find things and use things in my kitchen. I still do not love my kitches, its still small and annoying. But I am grateful that I have a kitchen, full of food and ready for me to cook for my friends and family. Cooking eases my anxiety. It makes me happy. Happier than my Xanax ever did 🙂

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Christine… Seriously… You rule. I’m sorry to hear about Bill’s office, but not totally surprised. It’s hard to change habits like that unless you really, REALLY want to. Like, I have a feeling you will keep your kitchen relatively organized now, and (like me) you will do a hard clean-out of it once a year or so. Because HOLY CRAP it feels good to cook in an organized kitchen. And it matters to you.

  5. Reply Milaka says:

    Oh my gosh, yes. I know. I totally know. We moved into our house 11 years ago and we still have minimal amounts of stuff on the walls. We’ve painted two rooms. That’s it. We only got a dining room table a year ago. Sometimes I look at myself cooking dinner and wonder who left me in charge and when is my mom coming back?!?!?!?

    What you are feeling – the “disappointment” and the anxiety – is universal. Dammit, why? Why do we feel this way? (Notice, I say “we”.) If we have a roof over our heads that keeps out the elements, a pantry/fridge that is stocked and love aplenty, who is the a**hole who said that we have to have things decorated and matchy-matchy? I’d much rather just get stuff that I think is cool or pretty or just makes me happy and display it than worry about whether it “goes”. And that’s my rant on furniture.

    You know how you can NEVER do all the laundry because at the end of the day, you’ll have to put what you are currently wearing in the dirty bin? Life is like that. Bathrooms are like that. Kitchens are like that. Give yourself a break and know that cleaning out the bathroom cabinets every six months is fine. Are you living in squalor? Are there science experiments living in your drain? No? Then chill. You’re good.

    I know you’re good. You laugh with your family. You love your family. And they love you. You’re good.

    Much love to you!!!

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