Saturday, July 14, 2018

Anxiety Isn't The Boss

Fear doesn't mean you have to stay still.
Sometimes, I'm sitting around watching television, hanging with family, doing chores, whatever, and I have something like a profound thought about my OCD and anxiety. Fine, it may not be profound, but it feels important to me. I had one such thought just now after using the bathroom, because I'm glamorous like that. The thought was this: My anxiety behaves so much better when I'm the boss. It's like a lap dog. If I don't give it proper discipline, it decides it makes the rules. When I don't let anxiety make decisions for me, it lessens naturally. Doing whatever the hell I want in spite of the horrible physical symptoms and emotions that crop up makes panic so much less intense.

(Disclaimer: I know I've said the same thing in different ways many times, but if you have OCD, you know sometimes you have to find new ways to think of the same ideas.)

What do I mean by doing whatever the hell I want in spite of my anxiety? I mean a few things. Firstly, if I'm working and I panic, I try hard not to stop to try to soothe myself. Soothing myself tells my brain something is actually wrong. Instead, I just keep working (sometimes). Another example is perhaps me excitedly planning to go to some event and then later dreading it because of anxiety. I know I actually want to go, so I do my best to do it anyway. I don't want to prove my anxiety right on any account. It rarely ever is, and it is never right about the severity of a damn thing. She's a drama queen, for real.

I know that self care is a much-touted aspect of mental health, but that doesn't mean self-care has to be a week off of work to collect yourself, thought it can mean that. For some people, like myself, stopping to savor the panic only makes it worse. If I "just keep swimming," as a wise fish once said, I tend to make out better. That's not to say I don't sometimes spend the day trying to distract myself from anxiety, but rather to say that the answer may lie in taking note of what you really want out of life when you're feeling well, so you can do it anyway when you're not.

Listen, if there's one thing, no matter how small, that you really want to do, but your anxiety is telling you is impossible–ignore your anxiety. Even if it makes you feel like you could shake out of your shoes and the world is falling in around you. Just do me a favor and achieve one thing that matters to you. Feel free to tell me how much of an ass I am in the comments if it doesn't go according to plan, but don't you dare forget to tell yourself that you're a badass for trying.

Be well, readers.

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