I find myself getting really frustrated with communication sometimes. You could say communication triggers my anxiety. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because of this. Anxiety is a frustrating thing to deal with and communication is so constant that the combination is overwhelming. Am I constantly anxious because I am constantly communicating?! Not really.
So here I am, taking a step back to define things. If I get this straight in my head, just like anything else that causes anxiety, it will be that much easier to handle in the middle of an episode.
I find that when I am communicating with only one person on one topic (blogging in the middle of the night for instance) I am not frustrated. The communication is on my terms. I’m focused. I’m not in a time-crunch. I’m not dealing with other people’s emotions or my own hunger or fatigue. I’m just saying what I have to say.
I get frustrated when I am constantly being communicated with in multiple ways or by multiple people all at the same time.
At home this looks like my husband trying to tell me something, while the 12-year-old interupts with a story about a friend or some other non-essential and poorly timed comment or obnoxious sing-songy noise, while the three-year-old tugs at my pants whining for attention, while the timer on the stove beeps to alert me that something–what was it?–in the kitchen requires my attention.
At work this looks like answering the phone to talk to a client who has a question, then submitting a request on their behalf through a website while hearing the text alert on my phone go off multiple times. Then checking my email and finding three or four requests from other clients and vendors that require my attention, but before I even get through the first one, the phone is ringing again with another request. And for fuck’s sake why is the gossipy girl hired to work at the front desk talking to me about her step daughter and her trainer at the gym instead of answering the goddamn phone!
It’s frustrating and overwhelming and yes, I do swear under my breath quite a lot regardless of my location. Not something I am proud of, but I’ll admit it here. And I’ll admit it to most people. I do try to have a filter. I do try not to drop the f-bomb when kids are within earshot or when I am in public at all, though I do fail in the office frequently. I’m a bit embarrassed by it, but there’s something about the f word that communicates frustration effectively.
I’m not going to type an easy solution here, because there isn’t one, but at least I’ve put words–and not just profanity–to the frustration, so when I face it tomorrow, maybe I’m slightly more equipped to deal with it.