Anxiety, Life and Moving On

Anxiety

Anxiety. I can’t tell you how hard that word hits me as I type each letter across the screen. It’s powerful. Destructive. Terrifying. If you have never had an anxiety attack, or battled the endless night that is depression, then you might find it hard to relate. As someone who has suffered through the roller-coaster ride that is an anxiety disorder, I can assure you, it is NOT for the faint of heart.

The Good & The Bad

On good days, I feel optimistic that my life will keep getting better. That I will overcome my internal “what if” maker, and fast track myself on a one-way street to happy-ville. Before I go any further, I need to tell you something. I don’t do drugs. I know, so taboo right? Not even Nyquil. I hate prescription medications, and I sure as fuck can’t down a handful of Xanax or whatever it is that kids are taking by the dump truck these days.

My abstinence from mind-altering drugs, medications, and alcohol puts me in unique position. I get to feel every twinge, gasp and heartbeat when I am anxious. There is no escape. This means that when things get bad, they get really bad. I go somewhere that feels completely foreign. Like a purgatory for the living whose only crime is overthinking.

An unintended consequence of my anxiety is the utter isolation I experience almost daily. Even when I’m not suffering from anxiety attacks, I’m consuming every thought that enters my mind and I create perceptions of the world around me that aren’t exactly healthy. Another unintended consequence is creativity, which brings me to the second half of this post, the part about moving on…

Moving ON!

Moving on is something we all have to do, whether we fall in line willingly and acknowledge that life naturally changes, or are forced to move on by changes beyond our control, it’s inevitable. I do, however, know plenty of people who live their lives as if change doesn’t fucking exist. They surround themselves with the same people, the same jobs, and the same cans of beer that they’ve been drinking for the past umpteen years. And you know what? It works, at least for them, at least in a small way. They seem happy with where their lives are and what they’re doing. Almost blissfully ignorant that another world awaits them on the other side of their fear of change.

For me, change was forced. That process began 9 years ago when my father died. Today, I am living in a completely different state, am married, and possess a lot of down time. That downtime leads me back to the first half of this post, anxiety, and while I do still suffer from the lasting effects of a negative mind, I’m better. I’m learning to move on, and learning that what’s in the past should be fucking left there.

Now that I’ve suffered and come to see the light, I have been blessed with a well of creativity that I’m only beginning to tap into. I firmly believe that well wouldn’t exist had I never experienced a panic attack, or perhaps my creativity gave birth to my disorder. Whatever the case, I’m thankful.

I’ll leave you with a few words from the late great Bill Hicks..

billhicks

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