The Thrill of Anxiety

Anxiety is an odd fucker. Sometimes, when I tell someone I’m feeling anxious and their question is ‘why’ it makes me absolutely rage, when in reality I know they are just being kind. The anger is involuntary and it’s from me not knowing ‘why’ – it has nothing to do with the other person. 

When I don’t know ‘why’, I desperately wish I could pin this stomach-churning, heart-racing feeling on something tangible. If I could then I could solve it right? The problem-solving-control-freak in me just wants something to pin this feeling on and when I can’t I want to scream ‘I’M JUST ANXIOUS OKAY FOR NO FUCKING REASON AND YOU ASKING ME MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A FAILURE BECAUSE I DONT KNOW HOW TO SOLVE IT AND IF I CAN’T SOLVE A PROBLEM I AM A FAILURE.’

(To be honest, I think there is always a reason for my anxiety but I can’t admit it to myself… let alone the person sat opposite me.)

My current anxiety could be from packing up my entire life, selling long-owned long-loved furniture and not knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing on my upcoming travels. So, I should feel better about this anxiety, right? I should feel better because these are tangible anxiety-inducing situations, right? Wrong. The anxiety is still telling me I’m a failure. Oh lord, it’s a bloody broken loop. There’s no solutions here, sorry. 

Something I was told in therapy is there are no ‘bad emotions.’ All emotions, despite how unpleasant, have positive attributes. For example, my anxiety helps keep me safe, it makes sure I am considering all possibilities. Despite it being a fucking drag.

This upcoming adventure is to take me out of my comfort zone, so of course it’s going to be just that, uncomfortable. I am a strong believer if we don’t break these comfort barriers we don’t grow, we don’t overcome, in fact we can actually shrink. I can’t shrink anymore, it’s debilitating (despite my anxiety telling me to cancel it all and wrap myself into a burrito forever more).

Feels a bit ‘damned if I do/damned if I don’t’ dichotomy here. So I’m choosing the ‘damned if I do’ because I’ve been doing the ‘damned if I don’t’ and it has not been working for me. Idiocy (and insanity), after all, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So, Anxiety, whilst you are sometimes unknown, all the time fucking annoying, definitely not a desirable emotion for me, buckle up we’re going on an adventure. I promise to look after myself better if you promise to not go raging at unknown/minor details but keep me alert and safe. Deal?

One thing is true, I think I could survive without you Anxiety, but you can’t survive without me. So who’s the real co-dependant here, bitch. 

2 thoughts on “The Thrill of Anxiety

  1. Meg,

    I think it’s incredible what you are doing and I wish you all the best with it. Anxiety plagued me for a long time (and still does but it’s more manageable these days) but it drove me to very dark places in my early 20’s. Sending you all the love and good vibes on your European adventure.

    As we say in Ireland;

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Niall x


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