I love clearing the air. Righting a wrong and speaking out what is true.
Stereotypes are easy ways for us to try and associate with another person. When we put them in a box, we have rational reasons of the way they are. How they act, and what they do. When we classify them in a certain area, they remain so in our minds the way we envision them to be.
This is toxic in so many ways, but tonight I am only discussing the topic of people with anxiety.
In my years of dealing and overcoming anxiety, I have had well meaning friends and acquaintances ask me what it was that I was so afraid of? What triggers these attacks? Have you given your anxiety to the Lord? What are you so afraid of anyway?
I am here to tell you this: Anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you struggle with fear. In fact, many people with anxiety aren’t fearful. We are wild at heart and free spirited. We would be the first to volunteer to jump into the lake in the Springtime, most of the time we are the loudest laughers and the life of the party.
But inside, we struggle to feel normal. To keep our nerves steady and to remain laughing and smiling.
The severity of each persons anxiety is on a wide scale , so wide that we cannot even begin to understand how each person is affected when they have an anxiety attack.
To ask a person with an anxiety disorder what they are so afraid of is a lot like asking a person with diabetes what they are so afraid of. To leave diabetes untreated is deadly. To leave anxiety untreated is hell. You see, it’s not that we are afraid of anything in particular, it is often just a chemical imbalance of the make up of our bodies.
Sometimes it could be trauma from a past experience that we are struggling to overcome. Even so, it is not fear based. it’s just life. It’s simply that we cannot control how our bodies react to stress and trauma.
People that deal with anxiety attacks, and live on a daily basis fighting to be free from the cage that is their body are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met. Why? Because they have overcome how their bodies are trying to make them feel, and went on with their lives. It’s rare they are scared of much, in fact they face their fears daily just getting out of bed. Putting on their shoes to walk out the door, unknown to them what the day will be like.
Will my chest be tight today? Or will I be normal, just like everyone else. Whatever the day brings, we take it in strides. Because we know anxiety will not kill us, nope. It only makes us stronger people.
There is a massive difference in saying ” I struggle with anxiety.” AND ” That makes me anxious.”
Anxiety and being anxious are similar, yes. But anxiousness is rooted in fear. it’s a choice. Anxiety is not a choice we make. Nor does it define us. Because we know anxiety is not a character trait in our personality. It’s not something we can ward off by listening to happy songs and dreaming of rainbows. It’s just something we are learning to control. To overcome, and to allow ourselves to take life in strides.
Strides are slower, they make us look around at scenery. Make us see what stands out, what is really important. When you walk slower because you cannot run you see more beauty. You have time to tie your shoe, snap a picture and breathe a little deeper.