Schizoaffective Anxiety and Worrying
A lot of worrying comes with my schizoaffective anxiety. I am constantly worrying—ask anyone who knows me. Even someone who doesn’t know me that well knows that I worry all the time. And to top it all off, I blame myself for my worrying, even though it's anxiety-related. Here’s what it’s like.
I’ve Been a Worrier with Anxiety Ever Since I Can Remember
Sometimes on a Saturday night, I’ll be sitting on the couch with my husband, Tom, and I’ll be worrying. Then, I’ll chastise myself for wasting my Saturday night. I can’t even always specify what is bothering me. Essentially, I’m worrying about worrying.
I’ve been a worrier ever since I can remember. It really kicked off when I was bullied by another child in kindergarten.
It’s unfair of me to blame myself for my worrying. I do my best to use the tools I’ve learned in therapy to address it. I worry about whether Tom is going to die before me. I worry about what I’m going to do when my parents die. I worry that I’m wasting my life. It gets pretty painful.
The funniest thing is worrying about wasting my life worrying. Another funny thing is that when I was at the bridal store, standing in my chosen wedding gown, I was worrying about everything that still needed planning. A woman who worked there said, “Smile! You’re wearing your wedding dress!”
Schizoaffective Anxiety and Worrying Ruined My Dream of Teaching Photography
Aside from Tom, writing for HealthyPlace, and my support network, I don’t feel very good about how my life has turned out. Of course, a lot of that has to do with schizoaffective disorder and anxiety. Since I married in my late 20s, I planned on focusing on a career by my early 30s. Well, schizoaffective anxiety bulldozed right through that goal. I thought I could at least get an adjunct teaching job at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from there and a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Columbia College Chicago.)
I never even applied for a teaching job. And I’ve really fallen away from photography. I almost always take pictures on my phone these days. I used to exhibit regularly, but I don’t do that anymore either. I just post pictures I take from my phone to social media.
One way I’m able to soothe myself about my nonexistent career in photography is to tell myself that I do have a career in writing here at HealthyPlace, and a lot of people go into careers that aren’t in line with what they studied in graduate school. Also, writing was my first love before I discovered photography.
Anxiety and worry have kept me from doing many other things—including going to the wedding of one of my best friends and two of my nephews’ weddings. I blame myself, which only makes the pit of anxiety worse.
So those are some of the things I worry about and one example of how I counter my anxiety and worries is by telling myself that I am not choosing to worry. It’s how my brain is wired. I should go easier on myself.
Caudy, E. (2023, August 3). Schizoaffective Anxiety and Worrying, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/8/schizoaffective-anxiety-and-worrying