Anxiety, for me, is a rare occurrence. It just doesn’t happen. I’m fortunate to have a stable, happy, healthy life and a voice in my head that tells me everything will be ok if I just slow down and breathe.
Of course, anxiety still hits. Because it hits everyone.
And god, I hate it when it happens. I get fidgety. I can’t focus on anything. I stop eating because I feel like nothing could possibly fill the pit in my stomach. I feel uncentered and ungrounded; I feel like my world is unreliable.
When anxiety hits I feel like all I have is what’s going wrong. I forget what makes me happy.
Until I remember.
Sometimes it’s my own doing. Sometimes it’s a friend. Sometimes it’s a random stranger. But at some point the universe reminds me of the things I love, and my world starts to right itself again.
It’s not usually anything magnificent. I don’t think the universe speaks in grand gestures; it speaks in whispers. The problem with anxiety is that you stop listening. You get yourself hooked on the hunt for ‘the solution’ and it blocks you from hearing the little things that have been there for you all along.
….Alright this is getting a bit woo-woo. I’ll get to my point.
I didn’t realize the new season of Doctor Who started.
I know! Right?? Like, how?!?
I don’t know how I got so out of the loop, but I did. Normally I know when the season starts. Normally I make plans to watch it at my parents’ house because they’ll actually get it on premiere night. But not this time.
(It’s all good now, by the way. I was only a couple days late seeing the first episode.)
I suppose I’ve just been distracted. Life is incredibly complex, with all its good things and bad things floating around. When anxiety hits the bad things seem to swarm around you so tightly that you forget the good things even exist. Or sometimes you realize the good things are there but you refuse to reach out to them. You get this idea that if you reach for the good things it’ll look like you’re avoiding taking care of the bad things. And you can’t possibly do that. If you’ve got bad things swarming you, you can’t possibly do anything else except fight until the bad things are gone. Right?
I don’t think that’s the solution. See, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.
(Oh yes I went there. I can’t mention Doctor Who without throwing in some extra references.)
Catching up on my favorite show hasn’t made my anxiety go away. But you know what it has done? It’s reminded me that there’s more out there than the things that are worrying me right now. And even though something like a tv show might seem trivial, I was reminded that these little things are important. It’s important to stay connected to what you love, especially when you’re facing things that are troubling you. I watched this new episode and I instantly felt better. Now I’m filled with those exciting, eager chills I get from this show instead of just feeling empty from the anxiety. And now, since I’m not so distraught, I feel like I can face my worries with a clear head again.
So, if you’ll permit me to go all woo-woo again for a sec, what I’m saying is remember to listen to the universe. Whether you’re anxious because you’re excessively analytical and you’re overthinking everything and probably making up things to worry about (like me), or you have actual things that are troubling you, remember to stay connected. Those connections will make you stronger. They will give you a reality check. They will save you.