Dear Anxiety; Give Me Your Worst

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I’m not cut out to be a blogger.

I care wayyy too much about what people think about me. The blog market is one big saturated space and I really hate feeling like a small fish in a big pond. Plus, I can’t think of another area that creates a more perfect storm for comparison besides the influencer space. The odds are not and never were in my favor. Cue, anxiety.

I didn’t grow up having anxiety. In fact, for the longest time I didn’t believe that it was an actual thing. I thought it was just in people’s heads and they were giving their lack of ability to handle life’s issues a name; anxiety.

Until I started to lack the ability to handle life’s issues… let me re-phrase that; Until I started to lack the ability to wrap my head around life’s issues.

Because those that deal with anxiety, I can assure you, are the most capable people that are currently living on the planet. There is no doubt in my mind that they can handle anything that is thrown at them – with a detailed plan as to how they will do it written out for you to read.

It’s not the dealing with things part that is challenging… it’s the why, the what, the why me, the WTF, the who the hell am I’s that get anxiety-ridden people all knotted up.

But I love my anxiety. Or, I’ve learned to love it. And I’m not just saying that… I really do actually feel thankful for this dimension of my being.

Because I’ve never met an anxiety attack that didn’t propel me towards my purpose; some way, some how. Every time.

The not being able to breathe because I got into a fight with someone and I feel like I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve handled it all differently, sobbing on the bathroom floor wanting to give up everything because what’s the point now that I suck as a human being…. I live for it.

Because learning how to avoid that very thing has forced me to live in such a way that I can’t help but love my life.

The heart palpitations lead me to meditation. Meditation changed how I do everything.

The constant indecision lead me to journaling. Journaling changed how I process my every thought.

The crawling into a shell because I can’t make words form lead me to therapy. Therapy taught me that it’s not always me that is the bad communicator, and gave me useful tools to not create my words but use them. It gave me a voice. Because those with anxiety often feel like they’ve lost theirs; overwhelmingly lost in this noisy world.

The having too much energy that I can’t sit still or focus lead me to exercise. Exercise has given me my strongest, healthiest, most confident body to date and helps me to streamline my focus.

You can’t get rid of your anxiety. Sure, you can medicate the symptoms. Sure, you can make certain lifestyle changes to minimize it’s sometimes crippling effects. But you can’t eliminate it completely… Why? Because it’s the lens in which you were uniquely created to view this world from more than it is a disease, a statistic, an illness, something to be ashamed of. 

If you can’t rid yourself of anxiety, then why not embrace it? Instead of spending all of your energy on trying to push it into the corner and pretend that it doesn’t exist, pushing it down while it bubbles back up – why don’t you use that energy to make it work with your life?

It sucks, I get it. I hate feeling like I can’t breathe or feeling like I’m out of control of my own body and mind. I work really hard to keep my self cool, calm & collective and it sucks when one little thing can trigger an attack and seemingly reverse my progress. I lose days of my life to feeling less than, not good enough and unqualified all because I let my mind do it’s thing. But the moment you stop resisting your anxiety is the moment that it starts working for you.

You are the boss and anxiety is an annoying, yet super resourceful employee. One that is such a huge asset to you that you overlook anxiety’s shortcomings because of what it does bring to the table.

  • Anxiety forces you to live your life in balance. You literally cannot do things like go two days without sleep or go a day without eating your go-to foods. Because shit like that just throws us off. So it has to happen and you make it happen. Anxiety sufferers that embrace their anxiety actually live really balanced lives. Because they have to. It’s not a “I’m working out to lose weight” it’s a “I’m working out because if I don’t, my anxiety will consume the rest of my day”
  • Anxiety forces you to (actually) enjoy the highs. I dunno about you, but I don’t enjoy things that normal people enjoy… I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time wandering around stores (shopping), I don’t enjoy laying around or lounging (relaxing), I don’t enjoy cooking, I don’t enjoy the beach, I don’t enjoy visiting with people just to visit, I can’t enjoy things like pedicures because I’m constantly trying to predict how much time is left until it’s done. So when I do find something that I actually enjoy doing – you best believe I’m able to recognize it and soak it up. Once I find those things, I often make them a part of my daily, weekly or monthly routine because when someone with anxiety enjoys something – it is not only enjoyable but comforting and safe and familiar in feeling. So it’s worth doing often.
  • In addition, anxiety can take you to some really low lows. If you’ve been there, then you can appreciate how good the highs in life actually feel. I personally appreciate this aspect of anxiety because I grew up as a child in this really ignorant state of bliss all of the time. It bitch slapped me in the face as I became an adult but I realized that I was never actually able to recognize joy in years prior to this because I had never experienced a real low.
  • Anxiety forces you to create boundaries. Boundaries are important. Successful people build boundaries. If you have anxiety – you know what you can and can’t do. What sets you off, who sets you off. So you do things to avoid those things… boundaries. Boundaries are overall a healthy thing to have in place in all areas of your life because it creates this impermeable layer between you and the things that bring you down. Imagine if you had real-life armor or a shield or a moat or the patronus spell in-between you and the very thing that’s currently ruining your day… Worth it.

Anxiety isn’t something that should be taken lightly. At times, it can be very serious. But experiencing an attack or just having anxiety in general, really puts into perspective not only the kind of life that you don’t want to live – but the kind of life that you do want to live. Which otherwise, could go un-thought about for years or decades… What life do you want to live?

I want a big life. I want to do big things with my life. I want to inspire a lot of people and help even more. But I learned right away that if that’s what I want, I can’t possibly give in to the negative aspects of my anxiety. I can’t let it have the final say. So I have no choice but to embrace it and make it work with me. I can have both; a big life and big anxiety. I can even like it… so anxiety? Give me your worst.

Sincerely,
E&F

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