Anxiety is a piece of us all. Anxious is a drug to be utilized in small doses. Like all things, too much of it is no good. Anxiety is a psychological demon that consumes you whole without an addiction gateway entrance. There is no chemical sold that introduces anxiety into your system. She is just always there in the back of your mind awaiting her moment to shine. Anxiety is patient, she will stay around forever. Anxiety is relentless, she stops at nothing until she achieves her goals and has you all to herself. She will ruin all your relationships, keep you from progressing in life, make you question your entire existence, and worst of all introduce you to despair, depression, and addiction her three allies and your soon to be worst enemies. Anxiety has no remorse and will take none on you.
Anxiety is a pandemic. The ultimate demise of the human connection has allowed her to spread like wildfire. One by one she infects us and changes us into a walking shell. She becomes the control center. Manipulating every move, every behavior, and every opportunity to her advantage. Anxiety has one nemesis. It’s time to meet him.
Face Everything And Rise
Fear scientifically categorized is the response to a stimulus that enacts the fight or flight response determined by Charles Darwin. Basically Fear gives us two options. Stay and fight or turn around and run. Anxiety’s goal is to make you run away. She wants you to avoid every obstacle, tough situation, every argument, risk, or opportunity to change, that comes your way because that means Fear removed your blinders and you took the road less traveled with him.
Omnia oriri et faciem are the words I carry on a necklace on my chest close to my heart. Latin was the birth of the written language that has enabled us to justify our behavior. FEAR and I have a long-standing history. He has been my greatest ally when life, anxiety, and my own tendency to harbor self-sabotage have made me run. He knew I would be back eventually when I was ready to rise. Little did I know what rising above it all meant. Anxiety masks Fear. In her disguise, she doesn’t offer you two options. She only tells you to run to the safety of her comfort zone. Running to comfort zone is an addiction. It is a repetitive action that comes with a long list of excuses to convince others your decision was the right one. The problem becomes if you condition yourself to make an excuse for destructive behavior you will never take a risk. If you never take a risk you will never meet reward or failure. And the only way to meet risk is to take Fear by the hand and rise.
Throughout my articles, you can find major turning point moments. Existential ends have become a mastery of mine. Chapter after chapter I have closed books on friendships, relationships, death, giving life, places of employment, and setting standards. I didn’t accomplish this on my own. Fear proposed and I fell in love.
The unknown is full of many good and bad things. However Fear has a method to his madness. He makes you roam around here until you show promise. He is teaching us how to make a decision. He can’t introduce you to risk if you’re easily broken, easily influenced, or prone to running away. Fear tests us by adding a little bit of risk into everything. There is risk in every opportunity, risk in love, risk in life changes, and risk in failure. Risk gives us reward for effort. So Fear can’t reward you for running, not choosing to fight, or making a reckless decision and going down a different road altogether. You have to stay and face anxiety with Fear by your side and tell her to get out of your way. She is going to retaliate by presenting your biggest obstacle in front of you. The one thing that really hits your heart like 1000 hot knives. The one thing that can cause you to shatter to pieces. The piece of you that is most fragile.
Fear then stands atop that obstacle and opens his hands. You look him with anxiety firmly gripping you and have to decide. Face Everything And Rise or Forget Everything And Run. Do you forget the risk that will reward you on the other side? Do you face the obstacle head-on, and as you stumble failure gives you more opportunities to keep you going. Do you realize all the hard choices you have avoided weren’t really that hard at all? Because that’s what I did.
I was one of those people who hated the idea of being alone. Because I haven’t really experienced what it means to be loved for who I am I felt like I was missing something, I spent a large amount of time searching for whatever it was I was missing. There was a large part of me that was empty and I filled it with anyone and everyone that came my way. I allowed everyone to be my “friend”, gave people who didn’t deserve a place in my life a title that needed real merit to be earned. Just to take away that despair of emptiness I had. The only reliable source of comfort was anxiety telling me to keep looking, don’t stop looking, hunt and find it. My anxiety loop was steering me directly into madness.
FEAR stopped time, I could hear my heart beating in my ears as anxiety was turning on the panic button. I felt the fire rising from my feet consuming each one of my limbs one by one. STOP Fear said to me, you can’t run from this now. A voice appeared in my mind that had not been there before. This shock of this voice somehow stopped the fire. Panic turned off, and anxiety let go of me. I closed my eyes and listened to this voice tell me my choices from here on out were going to determine who I was going to become. The excuses had to stop and I had to live my life for me. Not in the image I was raised to believe I was supposed to become. It wasn’t up to me to correct the mistakes of my parents, it wasn’t up to me to meet societies rules by a certain age and the ONLY thing I needed to concern myself with was how my decisions affected someone else as much as they did me. How my behavior was going to determine the rest of my life.
So all those words FEAR said to me overtook every decision I made. I stopped hating being alone and began to enjoy it. Finding myself in the abyss I had created, leaving useless ideas, people, and anxieties in that massive hole instead. FEAR had to prepare me for what was coming next. He knew it was on the way but I didn’t just yet.
Your goal for this exercise is to present FEAR with the long list of avoidances, excuses, and obstacles that are self-made. It’s time to face anxiety head-on.
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