Being vulnerable is not comfortable. Did I share too much?


Several dozens of my seedlings died this morning.  They had been under my care for about a month.  Reading that, I see it as something to be sad and disappointed about.  

But at the moment I don’t see why I let it take me into such a panic.  Yes, I’ve explained how much gardening means to me.  And, yes, I shared how the panic hurt me physically and emotionally.  But now, I kind of feel embarrassed.

“Boy, Michael, you blew a small thing out of proportion, let it destroy your day, and put it out to the world to perhaps wonder what the big deal was.”  

It’s moments and posts like this — when I really let the world in to see my Anxiety — that I wonder should I keep posting my vulnerable moments.

But then I remember one reason why I started this whole thing five years ago.  “One of the worst feelings when you are experiencing Anxiety … is that you feel so alone, so isolated. You even convince yourself that no one understands or even wants to know what you are going through. I share my experience because I’ve been told that my sharing has helped others not feel so alone and isolated.”

This morning, when I saw my failing seedlings, I felt alone.  And while I knew on one level I was blowing things out of proportion, I know others feel that same isolation as Anxiety grabs them, takes them to a physical and emotional hell, and afterwards makes them feel foolish, embarrassed, and small.

“Wait a second, Michael.  Get the words more precise.  I didn’t blow things out of proportion, and I didn’t cause this pain.  My Anxiety, my mood disorder did these things.”  

It’s not my fault.

Yes, I am responsible for my life and for my self care.  When I see my Anxiety approaching me, I need to acknowledge It, not fight It, and then let It get tired of me. 

For those who don’t go to therapy for Anxiety, you probably wonder why I didn’t say “fight my Anxiety.”  But that only gives Anxiety recognition … and a picture of how to attack you by seeing your weaknesses.

I must admit, today I gave Anxiety a bit too much recognition.  Not in the writing about It.  No.  The mistake was letting Anxiety project Itself onto my identity as a gardener (that is, a failing gardener) and project Itself onto my future (that is, my whole gardening season would be ruined because of one mistake).  

Neither of these things is true.  It was just my Anxiety speaking.

“Take note, Michael.  Don’t tango with Anxiety.  It’s not worth your time.”


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