Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

Accountability. Anxiety. Alliteration.

Why is it so difficult for me to be accountable to myself? This isn’t some kind of indictment or anything, and you’re not about to be subjected to an onslaught of negative self-talk (although, you evidently are going to be barraged by some defensiveness from the get-go). It’s a legitimate question. Why is it so tricky to do things that are good for us? For me?

I honestly want to become a better cook, have a cleaner house, exercise more, meditate more, journal more, drink more water, etc. I mean, all of those things would have incredibly positive benefits.

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

It should be noted that Instagram recently decided to highlight pictures from a Colorado blogger who had the most perfect house with the most perfect decorations and most perfect family. You know, because social media is awesome and never makes us feel inferior.

I met with my therapist yesterday, and I went in without an agenda (CUE GUILT). Little thoughts kept ejecting themselves from my brain like popcorn during the hour we were together, and the majority of those thoughts were random examples of how anxiety has manifested recently in my life. I hadn’t connected the dots until this started happening.

I confessed to a moment of sheer terror last week where I imagined how earth-shattering it would be if I lost my daughter to cancer. Why? No reason. The idea just popped in there, like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. My thoughts then turned to Joe Biden (because of course they did), and I struggled to grasp how he, or anyone who has lost a child, could go on under those circumstances.

While I do a pretty decent job of not watching the news, I will admit to watching SNL last weekend and having news accidentally happen to me. I learned of the most recent dire warning about climate change, and the inevitable catastrophe occurring in 2030. An end date. Ominous. Foreboding. The dark seas of anxiety in my stomach are now stormier from this, too. This is not new news, I know, but anxiety is fickle and will grab onto things one day that it will completely ignore the next.

In the middle of the night last week, I woke up panicked that I had allowed the anniversary of my friend’s death to pass without acknowledging it (which, turns out, I hadn’t), and reflecting on him and what his friendship meant to me. Then, I started thinking about our relationship, and the signs of his depression and alcoholism, and how much pain he must have been in, etc. It put me into fetal position. I wish I could go back eight years and tell Chris how much I loved him just once more.

Those are a few examples. Like I said, I didn’t think much of them until I started listing them off, one after another, during my appointment with my doctor. Then, it was like, huh, it appears I’m hurting more than I recognized. I ought to do something to combat these unbidden worries.

She said that anxiety is the disorder of avoidance. My brain tries to cocoon itself and keep me safe, while making motivation to take action toward anything very, very difficult. If we’re looking at fight, flight, or freeze, I believe my head is in freeze mode.


Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella, waiting for it to rain.
— Wiz Khalifa

I don’t know if Wiz Khalifa really said that. I’m blindly trusting the internet right now.

It’s so backwards, right? Routine is what makes me feel better. Being able to check things off a to-do list makes me feel accomplished and proud. Doing anything - ANYTHING - is better than remaining frozen and trapped inside your head.

I guess if it was easy, I’d be doing it already. I do know I get points for recognizing this. I get MORE points, however, for taking action toward something - just one little thing. My downfall in the past has been to try to tackle all the things at once. I’ve also run into challenges when facing my perfectionist tendencies.

You, too?! WHAT. I thought it was only me.

Ugh. Life is hard. I’m going to go pound out 250 steps because my Fitbit just told me to move, and perhaps grab myself some more water. One moment at a time, friends. Watch me celebrate my tiniest successes.

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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