Having the soul that I have has been my greatest gift and my greatest challenge.
I am sure that many of you with anxiety disorders can relate because we all share so many of the same characteristics. Being emotional and sensitive, and analytical and intelligent…these are all wonderful things that give us a special perspective of the world. The struggle occurs when we take these traits, combine them with our negativity, and turn them inward and use them against ourselves. Then they can become toxic and menacing.
I love who I am, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult sometimes. Every day I work to find the right balance between my “dark side and my light side”. I have to spend so much of my time on this balancing act: positive vs. negative. If I am not constantly “on it”, and maintaining some level of awareness of my inner dialogue, anxiety symptoms could erupt again and my life might fall apart around me. Having to be so diligent can be exhausting and make me feel a bit like a prisoner of my own mind at times.
I am very negative-minded and a worrier. I suppose it give me a sense of control over my life, and I am always having to remind myself to turn that part of my personality off and only use it when it is necessary.
Sometimes I have a bad day and I start to think that it’s not fair that so many people get to go through life without feeling this urge to over think and worry about everything. Most people just seem to go through life so easily….or at least easier than I do. They must feel so free. I can’t imagine what it feels like to live that way every day. Sometimes I get a little taste of it when I pretend to be somebody without feelings. I will be at home cleaning up around the house and as I am vacuuming or folding the laundry, I try to take on the persona of a super confident person with no craps to give about anything. It is a very empowering feeling. But my brain doesn’t like it there and the game quickly ends.
It’s not that I want to be “happy”. I am not looking for happiness. I don’t think human beings were meant to be “happy” all the time any more than they were meant to be sad all the time. I think it would just be nice to feel content and secure and not have the constant urge to scan my life for danger.
But even still, whenever people ask me if I would get rid of my anxiety forever if I could, my answer is always no.
As crazy as it sounds, I don’t want to live in a world where I am not a neurotic control freak. In a world where everything is uncertain and life can turn on a dime, I like knowing that because I expect the worst at all times, nothing will catch me too off guard. In a weird way, that is where I find my sense of peace and contentment and I like that. I am uniquely me and yes my worrying, over-thinking, sensitivity and desire to always be “safe” have contributed to some really unpleasant anxiety symptoms. But they have also helped bring a lot of beauty, knowledge, and understanding into my life. Once I made the decision to embrace those aspects of my personality instead of resenting them, my life and my purpose on this Earth started making sense, and my relationship with myself became infinitely better.
Remember: all of the things about yourself that exhaust you and you don’t understand, THOSE are the things that you are supposed to master and turn into your sword and shield. Don’t shy away from those things and make them your enemy. Spend time with them and harness their energy. They are where your power lies.
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