When you’re learning, or getting over something, no matter what that is, there’s always a phase of self discovery. The light bulb moments that somehow make things clearer, or show you the path that you need to take. If you’re looking for the answer, it’s always there. Somewhere. I wanted to share one of those discoveries on my journey through anxiety.
Notice I said my journey through anxiety. That statement right there is where this all began. You see, for as long as anxiety has been a part of me, I’ve always described it as suffering with or battling or fighting. And I described it that way because that’s exactly how it’s always felt! It’s been an exhausting fight, I have suffered and I’ve always believed the answer to ending the suffering is ridding myself of the very thing that’s caused the pain. I now however believe that the fact I’ve been fighting it for so long is the reason it’s still throwing punches straight back. Stick with me, let me tell you what I mean…
It’s no coincidence that the traits you’re born with help to shape who you are. Yes there are influences as you go through life that might alter things slightly but fundamentally you are who you are. Think about all the people you know – quiet friends, loud friends, some who like attention, some who love a quiet room – all different but all perfectly acceptable and loveable qualities. So what if being anxious is a fundamental part of your make up? Did you notice the automatic feeling was a negative one? Why is it that some traits have negative connotations and others don’t? So how about we instead look at what being anxious really means, just for a moment. Maybe it’s an intuitive cautiousness that you have to keep you out of harms way. Or perhaps it’s simply love for others that burns to help you keep them safe. It could be a deep empathy that you genuinely feel when someone else is in pain. Or a genuine dislike of the injustices in life. They all feel like they’re coming from a good place.
So where am I going with this? Well I guess my point is, to continually fight against a part of yourself, to try to change a part of who you are, to me, sounds like a battle with pretty rubbish odds. Would it not make much more sense to take the time to learn and recognise who you really are and how you’re made up? Then embrace every part of that, anxiety and all. Now of course, that’s never going to be easy. The worry remains and the physical symptoms that manifest are very real (and very unpleasant). Thankfully we live in a world where there are plenty of options to help that bit. But I do think if we can get to a deeper understanding of ourselves, those symptoms will rarely get us. Now obviously I’m not a scientist or a doctor (god, imagine that!) – I have nothing to back the theory up. Only my personal experience of when the symptoms kick in. And generally that’s when I feel overwhelmed or unsure – and always when I’m lacking an understanding of how I’m actually feeling. So what would happen if I knew myself inside and out and always had an understanding of where I’m at at any given time? I’m betting the odds are much better for me with it this way round.
I don’t think there’s any single way to navigate yourself through anxiety. I’ve previously shared some of the things I’m trying and I’ll continue to find new ways to help myself. This blog itself is all part of the journey too. So right now I’m grateful to be in a position where I can share my journey and I’m grateful that you took the time to come on the ride with me.
Anxiously yours 😘