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Busyness Addiction

I finally don't have a migraine or a bad headache today after about a week of dealing with migraine and/or intermittent headache. So, I walked a mile, took a shower, ate breakfast, and have been reading internet stuff. But I have this underlying anxiety that I need to get up out of my chair and do all the things!!

My to-do list is a mile long and would take about a week to do if I was completely healthy and had no migraines. Which is totally fine. That's how my to-do list is supposed to work. I put stuff on there so I don't forget.

So why am I feeling so anxious and guilty about sitting down and reading some interesting and informative blogs?!

I am a do-er. I have always been. I have trouble sitting down to watch TV. I have to have some knitting in my hands when we watch TV or a movie at home. Reading for pleasure is something I usually do at night or when I have a headache (that isn't too terrible). When I feel well, I get things done!

Part of this is from my family of origin. My parents do things. My mom has always loved to work in the yard and keeps an immaculate house. My Dad worked hard all day and then would come home at night and work around the house or study the Bible.

Of course, there's my own proclivity. I went to college and had my fair share of fun, but lots of that fun was with Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. We did things. Then, off to med school where there was very little fun and lots of work. After that was residency and then practice. My life has been filled with doing.

Becoming disabled my chronic migraine was so difficult in large part because I spend so much time not doing. My migraine and headache days are spent doing very little. If they aren't too severe, I get to read and knit; otherwise, I have an ice pack on my head and just sit.

Days like today, when I feel pretty well, I feel like I have to work hard to make up for the sick days. I should be off to the pharmacy right this instant. Then reorganize my bedroom. And straighten the yarn cupboard.

Over the last ten years, though, I've been working with my counselor to learn how to handle this anxiety. (No, the anxiety about not doing hasn't gone away.) My counselor likes to remind me that we are "human beings, not human doings". Then I remember that, like God told the ancient Israelites, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" (Is. 30:15).

I meditate and pray which makes me slow down physically and in my head. And then I get on with my day. But, deliberately. I decide which few tasks I'm going to do today and do those. For example, today, I'm going to go to the pharmacy and grocery store, wind yarn, and empty the dishwasher. Anything else I do will not be from my to-do list; it will be fun stuff. I may still have the anxiety inside me, but I'll tell it to be quiet, that I'm in charge of what we do, that I will do things in their own time.

Being sick really sucks. I'm getting the hang of it, though. After 12 years. Now, I'm going to go meditate. Let me know what you think about all this.


Note: I get minor situational anxiety. If you have anxiety that makes you unable to function, please see a mental health professional. You don't have to live like that. And, my counselor has helped tremendously even with my more minor anxiety. (And quite a lot with my major depression.)

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