If you haven’t picked up a theme for this year; I have talked my ADHD, personal doubts, creativity blocks, nontraditional addictions, bloodline curses, and Depression multiple times. The moral of the story is that emotional and mental care matters. I was amazed to find that my posts on my mental peculiarities seem to help my readers the most. Today, I’ll speak on my last major mental barrier that has made me who I am, Anxiety! *birthday streamer sound*
This post is important for me to write because I tried to write this post so many times in the past I could have sworn I’ve written it before. I’m guessing each time I ended up deleting it. My heart is beating so heavily from me just thinking about what to say that I had to just start somewhere. That’s exactly what anxiety is for me, stressing out from thinking about all the worse possibilities instead of the moment I am in.
I worry. Then, I worry about my worrying being counterproductive. Then, I get upset with myself because I am being so counterproductive while thinking about being counterproductive. I tie myself into knots so tight that I can’t really seem to find my center anymore, remember the beginning, or see the end. So, I sit still without anything. In my mind, it’s easier to freeze and do nothing than do something and it blows up in my face. That’s the difficult part about anxiety. Your mind works against you by living in the worst case scenarios.
We don’t realize why our mind works this way. We believe that we are broken and are so different from everyone else that it would be better for everything to just be still. Our own thoughts betray us, so why would anyone else be able to help? Yet, the times where I best survived my anxiety was when I was pushed through by someone else. We think we have to be alone when we aren’t. We develop a weird addiction to the feeling of pressure. We don’t realize we were programmed this way from the start.
It’s amazing how our brains adapt to mitigate problems. I believe anxiety is just the internalized responses to success. Either it’s the artificial pressure to maintain a level of high performance or the pressure that comes from feeling you don’t deserve success. Both are the result of not fully learning how to process outcomes properly.
You don’t want to go to a party because you don’t know how to dance. You are afraid of asking that girl out. That 90-page paper is too important to mess up. But, what we manage to neglect to tell ourselves is the temporal nature of our fears. Things may seem big now, but even with the worst case scenario, minutes, hours, days, or years later and all things will be forgotten and/or forgiven. Things aren’t as permanent as you think.
The most amazing thing about me talking about my mental struggles is that so many people can relate. We are a unique combination of experiences but our individual experiences are not unique. Someone else has thought that thought, had that fear, or felt that way. Our shared experiences are why negative stigma doesn’t last as long as we think it does. We have all made mistakes. We have all failed. Some more than others, but that’s the beauty of it. You need failures to make success even sweeter.
We’ve been telling ourselves we’re horrible for such a long time that instead of the little voice saying yes we can, it gets accustomed to saying we can’t and won’t. We (or society/family members/media) create these unrealistic and overblown expectations for ourselves and others. You must let go of those expectations and be honest with yourself and others. Honesty lowers the pressure and takes the teeth out of anxiety. We all are human.
I am grateful for my anxiety to some extent. It shows me when I am heading in the right direction. It may be difficult, weighty, and paralyzing, but other people exist sometimes to drag you out of the abyss. It may be dark in this world of ours but we are not alone.
How do you change the little voice inside from being negative to positive? What tips do you have for calming the soul? Favorite Affirmation? Favorite buddy to lift you up when you’re down? Any stories of fear/anxiety that was completely undeserved? Let me know in the comments below.
(Sidenote: This post is not about traumatic anxiety or anxiety linked to similar forms PTSD. That’s an entirely different beast which I do not make light of.)