Dear Anxiety, Thanks For the Super Powers

Those of us who carry around intense fears and worries every day know that anxiety and mental health are not things to make light of. Mental health issues can be seriously debilitating but they can also give us tools {and super powers} that other people don’t have. 

Dear Anxiety, Thanks For the Super Powers3 A.M. My personal witching hour, when phantoms of worry steal my sleep. Downstairs, my demons lurk in dusty corners and under mountains of laundry. Anxiety is camouflaged as every day tasks, heavy even when they’re familiar.

This morning, I can feel the monster growing in my throat. It steals rational thoughts, replacing them with an endless spiral of what-ifs. The day would end in tears, I could gamble. 

I live in a room with anxiety, my job is to go outside. Lately, it bars the door. Too big to handle. Despite my best efforts, it persists. I get past the door by using every device in my mental health toolbox. When I use those tools regularly, it keeps the monster at bay.

Anxiety looks different on everyone, it isn’t all breakdowns and phobias. There can even be an upside to experiencing mental illness, the weapons we use to fight it. Super powers, one might say.

SPIC & SPAN

Some creatives thrive in chaos. I am NOT one of those people! A messy, unkempt home signals that my anxiety is getting the better of me. I flourish in tidy spaces. The more cluttered my home, the more cluttered my mind. We aren’t picture perfect over here, just less anxious when we stay on top of things. 

Anxiety drives me to find creative ways to keep organized. I have a no holds barred approach to de-cluttering and letting go. Just don’t peek inside my garage!

PERFECTLY PLANNED

In the early stages of planning, it’s good to think of all possible scenarios. People with anxiety are exceedingly good at seeing obstacles where there are none. We can predict endless possibilities, both positive and negative. We already create scenarios A through Z in our heads, we can apply the same super power to planning a potluck or a merger.  

If you want something perfectly planned, ask someone with anxiety to help.

EMPATHY CONFIRMED

If my anxiety causes me to live a bit too much in my head, it means I can also step inside someone else’s. Empathy is a strong suit of the nervous type. We feel so deeply that we often consider everyone’s thoughts and feelings, not just our own. We make excellent friends.

Empathy is a valuable tool for keep our humanity when pragmatism takes over. There is room at the table for both- those who are tremendously practical and those who operate with a large dose of compassion. 

So, go on, mama. Tame your monsters with a hobby, with exercise, or medication if you need it. Just know that you are a super hero with abilities other people wish they had. 

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