Day 14: In Which Anxiety Rears Its Ugly Head

Things are not OK in Anna-land today. There’s nothing specifically wrong, exactly, but I am freaking out. My thoughts are scattered, I am shaky and just the slightest bit dizzy, and I am having a lot of trouble just typing these thoughts in a way that reads somewhat well. I’ve been working on this paragraph for going on a half an hour now. Hello, anxiety.

Last night, my old coworker mentioned that he’s going to be moving out of his rent-controlled apartment in a month, and asked if I’d like to consider renting it. He has an “in” with management, and thinks he could get me to the top of the applicant list. My other old coworker also lives in the building, so it would end up being a pretty fun arrangement.

But while I should have been over-the-moon, my initial reaction was closer to dismay (though it makes so little sense). The new apartment is $650/month (!!!), 750 square feet with a large bedroom and bathroom, has central air/heat, a dishwasher, a washer & dryer, and is in a condo building that’s well-maintained. My current apartment is $750 a month, 425 square feet, has a window unit that blows moldy air directly onto my face at night, no water pressure in the kitchen sink (and no dishwasher), and no washer & dryer. I’m currently so broke that I hand wash all of my clothes in the tub and drape them over the balcony outside my door to dry. Cat hair is clinging to everything. No matter how much I sweep and vacuum and scrub, there’s always a fine dust of cat litter over all surfaces because the place is way too small for two litter boxes and three grown cats.

There should be no contest. I should be scrambling to secure my place in the cheaper apartment. But instead I’m frightened. Yeah, my current place is too small and has no amenities, but I love my neighborhood, and had harbored a desire to move further into the Bywater, to be with artists and freaks like me. But the new place is in the Warehouse District, which is pretty much as bougie as this town gets. It’s Uggs and pumpkin spice latte all the way down. And yes, not everyone is that, and yes, I’m not all that cool, myself, but will it be possible to make the ever-so-colorful mental and physical versions of myself sync up if I go back to live in the monochrome world I left behind when I moved to my neighborhood three years ago? For that matter, was it ever going to happen? Should I just give up and find a pair of Uggs? Ack.

I also started my current relationship around the same time that I moved into my current place, and we’re not exactly on solid ground right now, so I’m probably scared that giving up my apartment will simultaneously put the finishing touches on our relationship. There’s also the fact that moving back to the Warehouse District is going back to the place where the death knell of my old relationship occurred, and I’m probably nervous about dredging up old memories (especially after the other night). Plus, it’s about a mile closer to my work, so what if I end up getting less exercise each day as a result of the move? (Yes, I can counter all of these thoughts with realistic solutions, but this is just what’s happening in my head currently.)

The only real “con” of the argument would be the neighborhood/leaving my current neighbors. But the “plus” side would include all of the aforementioned amenities, a built-in cat sitter (since I’d have a friend in the same building), more room for the cats to live and play, cheaper rent and utilities, much closer to the vet and the grocery store, and a cleaner, more polished appearance and lifestyle, since having a washer and dryer would revolutionize the way I care for my house and my clothes. I could potentially be more successful in my career just by having an improved appearance, and the money saved each month would help get me closer to paying off my debts, which could lead to better overall quality of life.

Plus, to live in this building at a reduced rate, I’d have to make an artist’s statement and dedicate more of my time to actually achieving my artistic pursuits, so it would force me to work on my writing. And if the boyfriend and I work out, it could be a more inviting place for him to come over, since there will be more room for us both. For that matter, it will be large enough that I can actually have friends over to play cards or watch a movie, which is not a possibility here.

I guess I must have slept on the decision process and freaked myself out in my dreams, because I woke up anxious, and my thoughts have become a louder, jangling discord as the day has gone on. I tried to talk it through with my boyfriend, which was helpful in a way, but also made me feel more anxious and out of it. And now I am feeling an intense urge to eat to make it stop. I want to go to the grocery store, buy soup, sushi, a chai, a bag of marshmallows, gelato, and a bottle of wine, and see if packing those in will help drown out the thoughts. (Obviously, this will not happening. I’m trying not to make any food decisions at all until I can get my shit reined in.)

I wish I could explain why moving to another neighborhood feels like such a huge negative in the face of all of these positives, but it’s entirely based in my emotional brain, rather than my rational brain. It feels like giving up and retreating. It’s a literal physical representation of where I don’t want my life to go – living a cookie-cutter life in a cookie-cutter neighborhood full of cookie-cutter people. My rational side says that I don’t REALLY know this to be true, but my anxious brain is insistent on it. Side note: I am clenching my teeth, tapping my feet, and chewing on my cheeks as I write this.

Man, this is Saturday. Don’t most people have lives and go do things with their friends on Saturday? OK, that’s it. I’m wrapping this up and finding a craft project to work on to get my mind off of things. And I’m ordering Chinese food for one via Postmates. So there.

Today’s Weight: 191.6 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: Existential Terror

Author: Anna

Aspiring writer. Hiking & backpacking enthusiast. Walked the Camino de Santiago (Camino Francés) in 2015, and hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in 2016. Slightly obsessed with St. Francis of Assisi and Elen of the Ways. I write about whatever comes to mind, but spend a lot of time dissecting my journey with anxiety & depression, recovering from compulsive eating, living in New Orleans, and my three cats.

2 thoughts on “Day 14: In Which Anxiety Rears Its Ugly Head”

  1. It sounds like a dilemma you got there about whether to move or not, and each choice has its pros and cons. A neighbourhood and the area where you live does have an impact on our emotional state, and if we feel like we don’t fit in, we don’t. Like you, I have anxiety. If I am faced with a big decision like this, I like to retreat and have quiet time to myself, perhaps have some good food like you plan on having (for me it’s usually something savoury like chips) and just kick back. In a way it feels like I am running away from facing and making a decision but I think most clearly when I get to step away and try to feel more like myself first. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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