Experiencing anxiety is a lot like being in a room full of people who are all scared of the dark, but when the lights are switched on you’re the only one who forgets it’s okay to stop being afraid.
That’s the frustrating part – because everyone experiences fear, but anxiety is irrational – it’s about being afraid of the dark in a well lit room simply because you know somebody could switch the light off at any moment. Nobody else gives a shit, and nobody else is living their life waiting for that switch.
When you have anxiety it’s as though you live your life believing there’s a switch button for anything, and at any moment the next worst thing could be switched on, and the next best thing can be switched off. Majority of the time, there’s no truth value to it – that’s the whole point. It’s fear without reason, or exaggerated fear with, and it’s exhausting.
More than that is the relentless frustration that arises from recognizing the irrationality of a fear and yet not being able to stop your palms from sweating. Your mind’s fighting a battle against your body without ever really being sure of itself, and your body has a knack for sensing self doubt.
I probably spent the larger part of my life in timid awareness of the world – tiptoeing over lines and waiting for the sky to collapse on my shoulders. At the time I was grateful I could even tiptoe; I didn’t understand what it could feel like to not be afraid of where my next foot-step might lead me.
Now I’m practicing trust falls with the universe; realizing tiptoeing is too careful for a world where bad outcomes don’t discriminate against cautiousness. And while sometimes I still feel the need to clutch my chest, I’ve learned a lot about simply letting go.