When Sharing Your Anxiety Story Gives You Anxiety
I want to tell my story, but I’m scared. What if it’s not good enough? What if no one reads it? What if people make fun of me based on the emotions I’m sharing in my writing? These were a few of the many fears and thoughts racing through my mind when I decided I wanted to share my story.
I’ve found reading stories written by others to be helpful and relatable, and as a result, I wanted to share my story, too. I sought to write something others could relate to, but I was nervous. This was how I felt about many things in life: I wanted to do it, but I was fearful.
Living with anxiety is living with constant fear. Fear for the future. Fear of messing up. Fear of bad outcomes. Fear of pretty much anything bad that could possibly happen. Now, I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full kind of person, but for some reason I always find myself thinking of the worst possible outcomes for every situation. Not because I’m a negative person, but because of the nagging fear something was always going to go wrong.
Yesterday was the first time I was told I’m a glass-half-empty kind of person. I sat there for a second letting it sink in as she looked at me and asked, “Have you ever been told that before?” I told her I hadn’t. I always try to stay positive, but then I realized she was right. I was a glass-half-empty person because I was always expecting the worst out of every possible situation, even perfectly good ones. This was the same person who helped me uncover many hidden things about myself I had never thought about before.
In the past few weeks, I’ve started going to counseling. I learned more about myself than I ever knew there was to know. The more I learned, the more the way I felt made sense. I was still no closer to feeling better about these things. No matter what, I was still in constant fear I wouldn’t be good enough.
However, she challenged me to fight the uphill fight. She challenged me to catch myself whenever I started to think too much. To stop it and replace the negative fears with good thoughts instead. She challenged me to change my, “What if it’s not good enough?” into “What if it’s great?”
Then, I began to think, what if tell my story and everyone reads it? What if people praise me for it and compliment me on my work? What if I can help comfort those who are in constant fear and help them feel like they aren’t alone? What if I stop fearing and start doing? Telling my story here is a small step in the right direction, I still have a long way to go. I am going to continue to fight the uphill fight against my anxiety.