I choose to view anxiety as a symbol of strength not as a sign of weakness. In my upcoming book Float I created the red symbol to depict when Anxiety speaks. We made badges and offered them as a prize for Facebook commenters on our website’s first week. When I saw some many friends and supporters emulating my initial selfie (James from PLB Comics started this wonderful trend) with the patch I truly felt loved. Then more and more people sent in similar selfies. Now I know I have a support team and that we have formed an army against anxiety.
A lot of people simply do not understand mental illness. Their fear of the subject matters hardens over time into fear. As people with anxiety know, we make bad decisions because of fear. To overcome this fear and ignorance, we must spread more education about mental health so that the overall reaction is more understanding.
You are not weak because you suffer from anxiety. In fact, you are incredibly strong because you have withstood its attacks. We fight it everyday. If we can teach others about this battle and its truths, they will learn that viewing anxiety as a weakness is incredibly wrong.
Anxiety works overtime to fill you with panic, fear, paranoia and self-doubt. I have moments of confidence in my day but they are often followed by panic and doubt whether I just acted too self-assured. It causes me to rethink and rewrite sentences while working on my stories fearing a non-sensical reaction I’ve imagined. Just today I sadly panicked about whether my home security system recorded personal information I gave over the phone.
It’s irrational fear that anxiety sells to me so well. My anxiety is an excellent salesman and his wares are his symptoms. He loves to hard sell too. I try to close the door in my mind, but he sticks his foot in it. If I manage to shut it due to breathing exercises and meditation, he will still be banging on the door. He always wants inside and wants to take over.
In nature, he’s a con man. These fears he’s promising are inventions. When it comes to death, anxiety is not a psychic. He’ll just use the most creative parts of your brain to create hypothetical situations in order to panic you. And then you fight him back and regain control.
That makes you strong.
And remember you’re not alone.