It's been a big week. We launched a new website. I finally wrote about my battle with anxiety, four years after having a crack-up and breakdown. And the exposure made me unexpectedly wobbly for a moment. Anxiety is something you live with. Some days aren't great. And this week didn't start out great.
Of course all of that sounds sickeningly self-absorbed in the context of the plane that fell out of the sky in the French Alps and the 150 lives that were lost.
There was also a tragedy at a school where many of my friends send their daughters. A young girl in year 8 appears to have taken her life.
My heart breaks for everyone who has lost someone they love this week. It seems ridiculous to even write about anything else.
I've been feeling a little shaky about all this. I'm very susceptible to energy. Perhaps you are too. When there is a big national or international mood of fear or grief or anger, I pick up on it by osmosis. I involuntarily soak it up like an absorbent towel (on a more trivial level, it's also why I find it hard to be around people who are doing drugs. It makes me feels speedy and on edge).
Even if they don't involve you at all, tragic events like plane crashes or tragedies that get saturation media coverage can trigger anxiety in some people. My anxiety tends to be more generalised although it can be triggered in unexpected ways.
I have received so many emails and texts and messages on Facebook and Twitter from people who have wanted to tell me their own stories and who have expressed relief at reading my essay and feeling "less like a freak". People with anxiety feel this way a lot and use this expression a lot. I know I have. I'm writing back to people one by one to tell them that their reassurance in turn reassures me!