Lately, I've been dealing with a free floating anxiety. I say free floating, and I picture it as somewhere above me like a little gray cloud shooting little bolts of lightening at me, but in reality it is an undercurrent often pulling me down, leaving me feeling more than a wee bit helpless.
I've been having to work harder to breathe through it, to keep panic attacks from fully developing. It's there--the sucking feeling, the shortness of breath, the feeling that things are swirling out of my control.
Sure, I'm used to this, having had periods of intense anxiety and daily pulls and tugs of anxiety, but this time I'm at a loss. It's a constant undercurrent and I feel there's no good way to express it or mediate it. Maybe that's because this time, things truly are out of my control and I have no way to know how things will work out. There are undercurrents that I'm not use to, subtexts that I've not had to deal with very often and certainly not in my closest relationships.
In many ways, the way I communicate has been altered dramatically by having three kids on the spectrum--three kids who communicate without those whirlpools of unstated things that threaten to take a person down. My communication has changed to reflect theirs'. When the people you spend the most time with say exactly what's on their mind, it's hard to remember that other people don't do the same thing.
I like clear communication. I like knowing where I stand with people. I do not like subtexts and undercurrents, and so I have my free floating anxiety often threatening to topple me into full blown panic attacks. I suppose one solution is to directly confront and offer clear communication, which I do when I can, but that option is not always available.
It can be easy to forget when one's gotten used to a certain style of thinking and communicating that other people can be drastically different. I suppose that those undercurrents and whirlpools go both ways, then, and it's a wonder that communication happens at all.
That does little at all to reduce the free floating anxiety, though--it just makes that cloud bigger and grayer and me feeling frakked either way.