life / women

Taming the Waves of Anxiety

Anxiety is strange. It feels like your heart is racing, except you can’t move.  The juxtaposition is just a reminder of your failure to keep up.

Just the simplest of tasks, seem so straight forward and yet, when I try to make sense of them, all the moving parts appear like a crazy game of Boggle. Panic and frustration set in. I know there are words in there… it’s just, they are not popping out at me. When someone points out something I should have seen or done an hour ago, the epiphany seems so familiar and I become disappointed in my lack of completion and inadequacy.

The lucky ones who live with anxiety know the difference between being a failure and failing. They have survived a journey of struggle, striving for acceptance and understanding. When things become overwhelming and we gasp in an attempt to breathe, a moment of compassion sets in and we remind ourselves about the important things. We put on our superhero capes and stand a little taller, unafraid of what others might think or say.

Those moments don’t always come when we need them the most. Sometimes, the thought of disappointing someone triggers a wave of fear that literally feels like a cool sensation rushing through my body and crashing me down like a swash. (Swash: “a swash, in geography, is known as a turbulent layer of water that washes up on the beach after an incoming wave has broken.”)  And just like that, we wait for the wave to break. Sometimes, it washes up treasures and other times just trash. Either way, their is some relief given as the remnants of the wave dissipate on the shore.  

Anxiety is something I live with. There are days, it simply rides around with me like a companion who gives me permission to relax and accept things just the way they are, other days it sabotages me, terrorizing me with ideas of failure and embarrassment.

Swash. Breathe. 

I accept the treasures, and even the trash, that makes its way onto my shores. They are littered across the grainy sand like a storyteller of my life. Anxiety does not define me. Rather, I am embrace these moments with pride and courage. My resilliance makes me who I am.

Anxiety may be strange but it is no stranger to me. It all depends if I can catch a wave and ride it out.


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