Anxiety is like this impending fear of terrible things happening that have happened in the past, regardless of when they happened the first time. It could be from getting yelled at and punished for getting a bad grade on a test, or from getting sick after eating a certain food that has made you sick before.
It’s like acid in your mind, slowly eating and burning away everything that makes you, you. You begin to fear all the things you love dearly so you begin to avoid them until you’re left totally isolated, alone and you have no idea why.
Anxiety is the constant voice in the back of your mind telling you that a “headache could mean a brain tumor” or that a “stomachache could mean appendicitis or pancreatic cancer” when in fact, that headache is just that...a headache. And that stomachache is just that...a stomachache. There is nothing wrong with you, yet you know something is. You don’t trust all the doctors you’ve seen because misdiagnosis happens so you decide to diagnose yourself because, even though you don’t have a medical degree, what you read on Wikipedia is enough.
Anxiety keeps you up at night - tossing and turning as you overanalyze every possible worst case scenario that could happen with your plans for the next day. It keep on pressing all these problems that could come upon you, until you’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. And even so, it presses on with all these "what ifs" and there is no way to get your mind to shut up.
Anxiety is like the Odile in Swan Lake. She is manipulative and sneaks up on you when you least expect it. You have no idea when she's coming and you have no idea what she's gonna make you fear so there is literally no way to plan ahead. She saunters into the room and when she’s there, there is no going back. She does what she wants with whomever she wants before she goes away…if you’re lucky.
She can decieve you into thinking that everyone is out to get you, that chicken you had for lunch; secretly had poison in it and now you’re gonna die. She can make you think that your worthless and that you’d better be off dead. So you write that letter, you put on your favorite outfit, your favorite song, and take that bottle of Tylenol before going to bed, because at least now you’ve been put out of your misery.
But you know what?
Anxiety is a big f*cking liar, although it feels f*cking real.
The only way to win is to fight it. And the way to fight is not to resist. Resisting those thoughts only makes more and more ones accumulate. So, let it speak. Hear out all the irrational concerns. Letting your fears speak until they shut up, shows you that you are not your anxiety. You are more powerful that your anxiety. So let it rant, rave, panic and cry. Let it tell you all the terrible things that could happen. And then you choose.
You choose whether you’re going to listen to it, or instead you’ll listen to that voice…that quiet voice that couldn’t be heard over the roaring of your fears. That voice that says, “Everything is okay.” The only time your anxiety will define you is if it’s the only voice you listen to. It will define you if you think you’re anxiety is YOU, not just one part of you. It can be hard when those thoughts are burning you from the inside out.
The first time is the hardest, and hard things are the most truthful. So let your anxiety speak. Let it scream. And when all the worries are on the table in front of you, you decide how you play the cards.
(Photo credit: DevianArt)
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