Reader Cammy this week asked me this:
“I’m an anxious person, very annoying, but you have made me feel like maybe I can deal with it. Thanks!! How do you deal with anxiety and enjoy things when you’re feeling anxious. Please! I would love to know what you do.”
I’m a very anxious person. It’s the background soundtrack to my existence. When you’re an anxious person, you notice things a lot. I’ve noticed there are different types of anxiety. But regardless, I reckon the beat (or buzz) of the soundtrack is the same. It’s common to the human experience.
At different stages in my life anxiety has ruled, and crippled, me.
The thing is, you can struggle with it. Or you can work with it. I don’t think we’re not meant to be anxious. I don’t think we’re not meant to be anything. We just are.
Happiness is generally impossible for longer than 15 minutes. We are the descendants of creatures who, above all else, worried.” Alain de Botton
Worrying about worrying is very familiar to the anxious person. Constant monitoring of your level of “Hey, I’m cool”-ness is too. Ditto, thinking that everyone else goes home content and anxiety-free, jumps into bed and sleeps sound.
I reckon we all get to the bathroom mirror on our way to the bedroom at night and look at ourselves and wonder if we’re doing this caper called life right. None of us are. All of us are.
I love Stephen Fry for the fact he reminds us of this, constantly sharing on Twitter his doubt and anxiety and sadness. Dave Eggers, too, in interviews.
Anxiety has made my life good
I don’t particularly feel like dwelling on the anxiety bit of Cammy’s question. The “how do I enjoy things” bit is more interesting. I think anxiety pushes us. It exists to do so – it’s part of the flight or fight mechanism and helps us friggen fire up.