August 21, 2019•502 words
Realized today that anxiety is and has always been a gift to me.
Looking back, the times when I'd been most consumed by anxiety were all periods when I'd been betraying myself for others in some way. Putting them or their values above myself and my own. Abandoning my life, my needs and desires, because in some way I trusted and chose others above myself.
Luckily for me, sooner or later my body is unable tolerate it anymore. The anxiety starts screaming louder and louder until I'm shattered by it and thrust out of the world and deep into myself. Because of how overwhelming it becomes, I lose the capacity to continue down the path I was on. I'm forced to stop everything and listen to what's going on inside me, to start taking steps to quiet the noise and pain.
In these moments, I feel betrayed by my body and mind. Because of the anxiety, I'm unable to keep doing what I was doing. Because of the anxiety, I lose what I was chasing. In these moments, I hate myself.
But all it really is is a message from deep within myself, to myself. A silent ringing that clangs louder and louder until it becomes deafening.
[CLANG] "THIS IS NOT FOR YOU!"
[CLANG] "YOU THINK YOU WANT THIS, HAVE BEEN CONVINCED OR CONDITIONED TO WANT IT, BUT IT IS WRONG."
[CLANG] "THIS IS HURTING YOU."
[CLANG] "DO SOMETHING."
[CLANG] "CHANGE COURSE NOW."
After some time has passed and the thing or person the anxiety tore me from is no longer so close, once I've had some space to come down from the experience and look back with a clear head, I always end up seeing that it had all been a mistake. A wrong turn, a false temptation. I had been betraying myself again. My body and intuition had been right from the start, but I allowed my mind to override them. And once again my body went into overdrive to save me, though I was fighting it the whole way.
Like many others I was taught to ignore my intuition and push through discomfort in order to fall in line with the direction of others. This made me vulnerable to misdirection, and anxiety emerges from the resulting self-denial. Anxiety is a symptom, not a disorder. It is a signal, and it is pointing to what needs to be fixed: my trust in myself. My belief in myself. My love and care for myself and my own needs and wishes.
To my anxiety, thank you. I'm sorry for ignoring you again and again. I will try harder to listen. I will make sure we are on the same page about a person or situation before moving forward. I will make sure all parts are being heard until all are in quiet agreement. I may doubt the person, I may doubt the situation, but I will try my best not to doubt me. I will listen to and choose me.