Posted in Hello, Anxiety.

Hello, Anxiety: “Two Definitions, not Wun”

This blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to say (with cautious sincerity) “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the condition from my “me-andering” views.

Here are two definitions of ANXIETY. First, from Oxford Languages:

Well, Oxford Languages summed it up pretty well: “Worry, Unease, Nervousness,” otherwise known as WUN. (Truth in blogging: I just made up that acronym.)

Unnecessary sidebar: Did you know that “wun” is an actual word?! At least according to the unrivaled urbandictionary.com.

Uh oh, “Walking with the occasional burst of running for a few seconds, or minutes at best,” not to mention “let’s hope I survive” both sound eerily, anxiously familiar.

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A “hypothetical“ convo between Anxiety, Developing Truth and Me:

Me: “Anxiety ain’t gonna wun over me. I’m gonna wun from it.”

Anxiety: “We’ll see.”

Developing Truth: “Neal, it’s not about being adversarial, combative or managerial with Anxiety.”

Anxiety: “Again, we will see.”

Developing Truth: “Breathe and try again, Neal.”

Me: “Okay. I ain’t gonna wun from it. At least I’m gonna try not to.”

Developing Truth: “That’s enough for now.”

Anxiety: “We. Will. See.”

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The second definition of Anxiety is from “my sister,” Anxiety Girl:

Whew, that’s enough defining for wun day.

Posted in Hello, Anxiety.

Hello, Anxiety: “Introduction”

Spanning the past year or two, a Perfect Storm of sorts has swirled around my life, mind and body, making direct hits from time to time. The storm was/is created by the following major factors (among others):

* The pandemic’s upheaval of “normal” life as I/we knew it. Causing, at the very least, worry and unease. Affecting everything from family dynamics to personal health concerns.

* The deaths of my dad and brother, as well as husband Robert’s father, stepmother and grandmother, all within the last couple of years.

* The angry and dangerously hateful climate of divisiveness within our communities, states, country and political systems. And the constant, sometimes difficult-to-ignore media coverage.

* Realizing and coming to terms with my life as an older married-to-a-guy (!) gay man, closely connected to my two daughters and their families, as well as my loving ex-wife.

* Being married to a wonderful black man and taking a serious and difficult (often very painful) look at issues of racism and social injustices in our nation and world.

* Even the seemingly silly fact that I’m getting older (I’ll reach the milestone of 70 next January!) and dealing with aging issues, which can seem both unfriendly and foreign.

So a few months back, I came to realize I needed some help. (Duh.) After reading Lori Gottlieb‘s encouraging and often hilarious Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (for the second time), I started looking for a therapist.

It took me a while to narrow the offerings down. Have you ever googled “Therapist near me”?! After all, I stand in the produce aisle, taking forever to decide on the “best” tomatoes, based on color, size, texture, aroma and how-do-they-compare-to-my-childhood-memories-of-homegrown?

What was I looking for? I guess this …

… even though at that point, I had not thought about or considered the word “anxiety” itself. I was experiencing it but not naming it.

I finally found him, and it only took a few sessions for him to gently say one day, “Neal, I think it’s pretty clear that you have generalized anxiety disorder.”

I was a tiny bit insulted. I think what I desired to hear was somewhere along the lines of, “Oh my goodness, Neal, you are a terrifically well adjusted man. Now go and BE that. You can do it. You ARE it!”

When I could breathe easier, I realized he was right.

This new blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to be able to say “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the Perfect Storm. I invite you to join me.

But I’ll supply the tomatoes.