Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where is the Anxiety?

I rarely catch a cold.

Usually, I'm very healthy, and I believe it's mostly because I can regulate my anxiety very well.

Oh, but I caught one this past weekend.

It started coming on Friday around noon, was full blown by that evening, and caused me to function well below normal on Saturday.

Sunday morning was our monthly Gospel Service. 

I sing lead. 

Uh oh.

Mucinex + Affrin nose spray + two shots of whiskey + numerous cough drops = being able to muddle through without too much distortion.

Today, things are getting better, but I am wondering where the anxiety was creeping up.  Where was the stress level elevated.

I partially know the answer: for the past three weeks, I've had meetings or church work scheduled every night of the week.  On a couple of those weeks, I bugged out of choir practice because I wasn't going to spend every evening doing church work.

Was I anxious about bugging out on something I should be doing?

Possibly.  Even likely.

I believe such is the cost of actually changing how one does things.  In years past, I would have pressed on and worked every evening regardless of the cost to my family time or my personal time.  I would have "sacrificed" for the greater good of the congregation.

Well, that was before burning out last year.  I know better.  I know that one must take time for one's family and self now.  One must cut back on other things even though those things do carry some importance.

Yet, this was going against how I usually did things.  This was doing things differently.  In the back of my mind the question still rang, "What will others think about you bugging out of these things?"

I've been working at beating back that question with a big stick.  But it's difficult.  It's difficult to change one's ways.  It's difficult to change from an over-functioner to a regular-functioner.  It's difficult to scale things back after doing things one way for so long.  I think this is where the anxiety came from.  I think this is why my immune system was a bit down instead of being up to its usual challenge.

Through time, I'll adapt.  The questioning will go away.  I won't wonder as much about what others are thinking.  I will be confident in my decisions to walk away from certain things because I simply cannot do it all.  The anxiety will fade, and I won't get sick as much once again.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I approve of your cold remedy -- just leave out the Mucinex, Affrin and cough drops.

To comment or not to comment: that is the question. Last week I deleted my comment on Burnout (on my blog) -- it's just none of my business -- or is it? I really don't know.

I can see what your problem is: it is the same problem my German family has. Even though our religion teaches "Not by Works!" we believe that if we are not doing works we are not good people and others will look down on us.

However, I think there is a deeper problem. Please forgive me, but I think you are running your church as a free-standing, independent unit -- apart from the ELCA -- and tragically apart from the universal church. You think it is the Church of Jesus Christ -- he is the Head -- but in reality you are running it as the Church of KH -- and here is the important part -- you are teaching doctrine from the 15th century handed down through your family -- this is why you will not go along with the ELCA.

You are a 15th century Roman Catholic in your core beliefs.

Now about burnout. All the Catholic priests I have known -- and I have known a lot -- if they feel stressed, if they feel they are doing too much -- THEY CHECK WITH THEIR BISHOP. The Bishop then regulates the situation -- THUS RELIEVING THE STRESS from the poor priest.

This system works. This is one of the reasons Jesus set up the Church as a hierarchy.

Feel better! Do you get a flu shot? It helps.