Anxiety is Sneaky

Today I had an anxiety attack…about my hair.

Yes, I just said that. My hair.

Me. Astrodynamicist, personal-growth extraordinaire, spiritual in nature but still grounded person who people generally seem to like and respect…had an anxiety attack about my hair.


It all started with a hair stylist that I had a horrible gut feeling about the moment I met her. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I wasn’t happy with the results.

No, it wasn’t the haircut from hell. It didn’t make me look like a crazy person (you know, misshapen and uneven and sprawled all over everywhere with an accidental “whoops, I shouldn’t have cut that” thrown in). There isn’t even anything necessarily wrong with the cut. I just…had an anxiety attack about it.

The cut is just not quite right. That’s all.

First of all, I realize that my anxiety is standalone and my hair was simply the most convenient item I had to latch onto. Other days my anxiety latches onto my relationship, my friendships, my job (that’s a common one), my purpose, the meaning of life, what have you. Today it was my hair.

Second of all, let’s define anxiety attack. For me, it’s a little different than the so-called panic attack that some people get at times – the one characterized by the inability to breathe or see or hear anything that’s going on around you. I’ve only had one of those in my life and it was when my ex-boyfriend’s mother was acting like a spaz and I was stuck with them in his hometown and we were outside and it was hot and I didn’t get enough sunscreen and what if she doesn’t like me and oh my god what if he and I aren’t right for each other?!

(In case you were wondering: we were not right for each other.)

No, I’ve only experienced that once. The anxiety attacks I get are more…long-lived. They last a long time, and they are mild in nature compared to a general panic attack. So essentially, I ruminate, worry, and struggle to breathe at a normal, healthy pace over a period of hours, unable to focus on anything else.

I am starting to think that my anxiety could be the main source of my fatigue, rather than such things as food intolerances like I originally thought. Although, honestly, who knows.

But I do know that the more I stress, the more tired I get, the less resilience I have, and the less ability I have to deal with the little things…like my hair.

Moral of the story: If you’re stressing about your hair, you’ve probably got something else going on that is difficult to face. Face it anyway. You’re brave enough.

Also, stop beating yourself up for stressing over the little things. They’re simply an indication that something bigger needs attention.

Also, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff has it all wrong. The title of that book should be When You’re Sweating the Small Stuff, Look for the Big Stuff That’s the REAL Cause of Your Sweat.

What was the big stuff for me today? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. For now, I have chocolate, tea, and a good book to keep me company.

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