I love when I have moments of self-discovery. They don't happen often, but when they do they can be life changing and alter the way I perceive situations. I recently had an AHA moment around my anxiety and where it's been showing up in my life.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear for what's about to come.
I've been aware of my anxiety for the past 5 years. When I discovered I had anxiety, I was constantly thinking about death and losing a loved one. After countless therapy sessions, my anxious thoughts around death have almost completely dissolved. Honestly, I thought I was in the clear because I rarely think about death. I started to attend therapy less which has made me less attuned to myself and where my anxiety may be creeping in.
Anxiety can come out in ways you least expect it. Recently, I've noticed how anxious I get when I can't control what people think about me.
"Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like this compulsive need to be liked, like my need to be praised." - Michael G. Scott
Why doesn't this person like me?
What can I do to make them like me more?
What if my friends other friends don't like me?
What if someone's friends that I dated months ago think poorly of me? (People I've never even met [insert eye roll])
What if my friends think I'm being a bad friend?
The above are just some examples of my internal dialogue when anxiety starts to set in. I analyze everything that I could be doing better to be better. Just like Michael Scott, I have to be liked! This may feel silly for most, but for me, it's my reality. I would LOVE to not care what people think about me, but I just don't function that way. At the end of the day, I want to control how others perceive me.
Honestly, this self-discovery feels silly and embarrassing to admit, but writing about it helps me work through it. I'm thankful that I recognize this quirky quality because I have to start somewhere.
Since this discovery, I've been trying to relinquish control. Rather than stressing about what others think of me, I'm trying to learn to let go. What will be, will be. Friendships, dating, work, money etc will flow as they are supposed to. I'm trying to work on staying present and grounded. I can't control what will happen within the next hour, 4 days, 3 weeks or 6 months. When anxiety hits, I recenter and root myself back to earth. For me, working out is my grounding technique. When I workout, I feel the most present and in touch with my body and mind.
All and all, it's a process. This has been a good reminder for me that anxiety doesn't just come and go. It's something I'll always live with, which I feel is a blessing because it helps me remain self-aware so I can keep growing and learning. At the end of the day, I've got a lot of years left and a lot of growing to do!
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-trauma, body acceptance and wellness.