I struggle with general anxiety disorder, which can manifest itself in unpleasant ways. For years, my main coping skill was my eating disorder. It’s hard to obsess about anything else when you’re bingeing and purging. Eating disorders, however, get you dead, and though I’ve tried to “shuck off this mortal coil” while in the pit of despair, I mostly don’t want to be gone. Enter recovery. Again.
I started my most recent attempt at recovery six years ago; I currently have slightly more than two years of purge-free eating. I’ve vomited more than a quarter of a million times in service of that eating disorder, I’m proud I’ve been able to find my way back, even if as yet, it’s only partially. Anxiety, however, did not quit the scene because I changed my modus operandi.
One of the techniques I’ve adopted to deal with my anxiety is grounding. Your five senses help bring you back to yourself. I find it’s very effective at pulling me out of hyperfocused anxiety my brain is subjecting itself to. God hates a panic attack. I never thought about carrying the technique into regular life, however, and that may have been shortsighted.
It’s always a good time to take a moment and embrace the world. R. Arthur Russel writes about it beautifully in “A Nickel for your Presence.”