Avoiding Anxiety (aka my life’s work)

There is something unnerving about being in the same room as someone who is interpreting your work/art. It’s as though your soul is exposed and that at any moment, something could go terribly wrong. From a young age I perceived that this feeling was dreadful and was to be avoided at all costs. I tried my best to keep anxiety and anything that could leave me vulnerable tucked far, far away. Unsurprisingly, trying to avoiding a situation doesn’t guarantee you will never encounter it. It only means that when you do, you will probably be unequipped to deal with the emotions it stirs up. So now, as a young adult, I have had to learn that resilience is (astoundingly) more effective than avoidance. I can’t help but feel that this message is at least a decade late, but “better late than never” I suppose.

After months (okay, years) of delaying the inevitable, I decided that it was time to build up my resilience. All I really wanted to do was be able to put myself in those situations that I have avoided like the plague for so long. Maybe even be able to sit with uncomfortable emotions, instead of instantly turning towards negative coping strategies. That shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

Well let’s just say that I have never (within my limited memory) felt so many negative uncomfortable feelings. It’s as though everything that I have worked so persistently to keep at bay has come flooding back. Due to my fear of exposing my thoughts to anyone, I have been failing dismally to explain why I am struggling and I just reached tipping point. I literally threw my recent events (in written form!) at my phycologist, stammering words that sparsely resembled “please read this right now because I already regret my life” and ran outside. Yes, that was definitely not the best way to handle things, but it could’ve been worse! Given that it is one of my biggest fears (hence the first few sentences ^), I am trying to not be too harsh at the way I have coped. Regardless, I can’t avoid these disgusting feelings and thoughts that are still stuck to me. I truly wish I had’ve learnt these skills as a child like it seems most people have, because there is just too many things to deal with now.

I am a perfect example of how not to be a functional human and I hope that at least someone can learn from my mistakes!


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