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The Drive

August 17, 2013

A few weeks ago when I was in physical therapy I was driving with my dad in my car and we were talking about anxiety and I said, ‘Anxiety definitely does not build your confidence,’ but then I thought about it and came to conclusion: anxiety can build your confidence, but only if you overcome it. I’ve experienced this feeling quite a bit lately and the things that made me most scared are not doing nearly as much to my psyche now–oh sure, it’s still there, but I can fight through it.

I was searching on the internet to see if anyone else felt this way and a quick Google search led me to believe that my view isn’t very common. I’m pretty sure it’s out there and I’m pretty sure that some people who’ve been fighting anxiety for years have thought the same, but inevitably if you type in ‘anxiety’ with ‘confidence’ it’s usually about the loss of confidence; I agree that anxiety can cause a loss of confidence, but it’s only when it’s allowed to take hold.

I’ve…kind of fortified myself against it with a wall of some confidence–true–and I’ve also been practicing it. So if you’re in the grip of anxiety then you will lose confidence and you will feel like shit. I’m just telling you that the opposite can also be true: if you face your anxieties and come out on the other side then you can start to gradually build up your own fortification. The key is acknowledging the fear and doing the activity any way.

Sounds a little too easy and when my psychologist said the same thing to me, I thought he was a little full of shit. You mean you allow yourself to be anxious? What kind of crap is that? But it is really effective and I’m thankful for it. I feel….human again. I don’t feel like this big ball of nerves ready to burst at the littlest provocation. I’ll admit I’m still not perfect, but I am a lot better than I was 6 months ago. Yeah…6 months completely wiped away most of 3 year’s worth of anxiety.

I wish I could give everyone with anxiety a magical cure, because I know that there’s a lot of people worse off than me. I get it, I’m probably an exception or at least not typical–I get that, too. My whole life I haven’t been typical, I survived being dead at birth mostly unscathed, a patio door’s glass shattering into my back and being okay, but hopefully this post can at least give someone, somewhere a healthy perspective on their anxiety and maybe even germinate an idea in them that they can get through it.

Anyway, that’s all for tonight. Sorry I haven’t been updating as much. I have audience now so I do feel like I owe you all at least something more frequent than how I’ve been posting.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    August 17, 2013 9:28 pm

    My therapist likened dealing with the anxiety (and OCD) to swimming in the ocean when a wave comes in. If you dig in your feet, the wave knocks you over. If you float and roll with it, the wave goes over you and you come out the other side. Not fighting it, accepting it- that’s really hard. It took me almost a decade to do that and I’m still working on it.

    • August 20, 2013 11:08 am

      That’s a good way to think about it as well. I hate anxiety, but I do see it as a character building experience at the same time.

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