This morning, when I looked at the sources of views on my blog, I happened to find a website that was a new source of page views, and one that made me a little anxious. I am used to receiving views from Facebook or Twitter or a host of e-mail servers or even random spam sites, but this site was one that was a bit more ominous, at least for someone. For the first time that I can remember, one of my posts apparently was flagged on a plagiarism website. I’m not exactly sure how this happens, as I’m an original writer with a pretty distinctive voice. The most likely situation would be a student (whether in high school or college, probably not before high school as the complexity of my writing would be an obvious red flag) tried to pass off a blog entry of mine or a substantial excerpt of such a blog entry as original work and just got busted. I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious for someone, even if it is immensely foolish to try to pass off someone’s work as your own, especially a writer who is openly and publicly read in most countries of the world. I hope it’s no one I know.
Reading is an activity that can sometimes make me feel anxious as well. Sometimes, this involves what others are reading. For example, I noticed a lot of views today from Thailand, most of them coming from Facebook, that talked about Thailand’s failures at writing constitutions  as well as the status of Thailand as a third world country (even if I don’t really like that term) . In general, I feel pretty anxious when people in Thailand read my blog entries. Part of this is because I do not know how friendly the readers are (this is, in general, a pretty serious problem; I tend to feel anxious when I think that someone is reading a blog entry or a group of blog entries that will be particularly unhappy or ungracious about it), and part of it is because it reminds me of my own difficult times in Thailand.
At times, it is my own reading that is difficult for me. For example, today I read a book written by a friend of mine  that hit a little too close to home. Then, when I decided to relax and read a book, I read about the difficulties of marriage prospects for poor but bright and scholarly Jews in one Eastern European shtel (town/village) as a result of the rise of modernity and the increased concern about wealth and decreased prestige of intellect. Perhaps I am a bit too sensitive to certain areas of life, certain triggers, especially when there is no seeming respite from continual difficulty in those areas of life. I am really at a loss as to what I can do to make my life in certain areas less stressful, but I know that reminders as to that area of life are lamentably common and I can do little about that except endure as graciously as possible.
At times, though, my anxiety leaves the realms of merely irritating and becomes debilitating. This happens more often than ought to be the case. This morning, for example, I was cleaning and getting ready for a visit from the owner of the condo that I rent with two married couples . I managed to get the room looking nice, but when the owner came I was too paralyzed by anxiety to go out and chat with her, so I stayed in my room and hid out, and since she never ended up coming to my room at all, I did not get to see her. I’m not sure why my anxiety got the better of me in that situation. To be sure, I am anxious often, and it effects my life on a frequent basis, whether making me more jumpy about things, or making it hard for me to function without hypervigilance, and to be sure my anxiety is one of the main reasons why I doubt that, barring a substantial change in the level of stress of my life, I will live for very long.
Knowing that my life is filled with anxiety is one thing, but knowing what to do about it is another. How to manage my anxiety without self-medication (given the fact that alcoholism is a huge problem in my family, drinking away the anxiety to less serious levels is not an acceptable option), or being drugged into a mental stupor (which is also not an acceptable option) is a subject of considerable thought. To some extent, I suppose being a bit high strung and full of nerves is as much a congenital issue as it was for the often put-upon Mrs. Bennet. I do not think I am quite as much a figure of ridicule as she is, although one can never tell what others think–my nerves and anxiety come with good reason, for all of the difficulties they bring. The trick, as always, is to seek to overcome the negatives while being appreciative of the positives, and to bring things into a better balance. As always, that is easier said than done, but writing about it does help, when one’s readers are understanding at least.