The Silver Lining of Living With Anxiety


For as long as I can remember, anxiety has been a constant in my life. I remember throwing up from anxiety often throughout my childhood and into adulthood. I remember laying awake at night, fearful of bad things that could happen to me. My heart always raced too fast — it still does — and my stomach is always churning. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been a part of me since the beginning.

Anxiety for me is overthinking each thing that happens in my day. Anxiety for me is feeling sick to my stomach. Anxiety for me is being restless and jittery.

Anxiety for me is a tightening feeling in my chest. Anxiety for me is intrusive thoughts and compulsions. Anxiety for me is excessive apologies.

Anxiety for me is also in the form of dermotillomania – picking my skin until it bleeds. Anxiety for me is excessive doubt.

Anxiety for me is never quite feeling good enough. Anxiety for me is feeling the need to self-medicate. Anxiety for me is feeling trapped under a tidal wave of fear.

Anxiety for me is torture.

But then again, there are good things that have come from my anxiety.

Anxiety has made me more empathic towards others’ situations. Anxiety has made me truly appreciate moments of calm and tranquility. Anxiety has made me grateful that bad things aren’t actually happening and that most of my worries are in my head.

I might even be able to say that anxiety makes me creative — some of my best writing and art has been produced while I am trying to calm down my anxiety. I also credit anxiety to the reason I’m never late for an appointment or meeting. Anxiety has helped me organize my schoolwork. So in many ways, I can be grateful to have anxiety in my life.

Anxiety disorders are definitely not easy to live with, but I suppose there is a silver lining to every cloud.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock via Victor_Tongdee

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

man reading book while sitting on pile of books,knowledge concept,illustration painting

Anxiety Made Me Realize My Worth Isn't Measured by My Grades

I’ve always been known as a “high achiever.” People expect me to consistently get amazing grades and I came to expect that of myself too. Naturally then, people expressed concern when my grades began to drop and I was taking part in more activities outside of lessons. However, what they didn’t realize was the relationship [...]
woman stressed out

A Simple Way to Explain the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety

Since I’ve started taking medication to manage my anxiety, I’ve had the pleasure of feeling — for the first time in a long time — stressed without feeling anxious. That’s right — I was pumped to feel pure stress, untainted by thought patterns related to anxiety and depression. Because “anxiety” and “stress” are often used [...]
A group of friends holding sparklers at night. Text reads: 20 things people with anxiety are too afraid to tell their friends

20 Things People With Anxiety Are Afraid to Tell Their Friends

There’s often no rhyme or reason as to why and how anxiety affects us — it just does. Sometimes it makes us miss out on social events. Sometimes it’s overthinking so much that texting back feels like climbing a mountain. Sometimes it’s needing reassurance, again — and again — that you’re liked, that your friendship [...]
Watercolor portrait of a girl in profile with her eyes closed on a colorful background

Dreamers With Anxiety: Don’t Look at the Monsters That Stare You Down

Dreams aren’t dreams without nightmares. We have dreams; we all do. But I know no one who has accomplished their dream without struggle. Nightmares? Name someone who has bypassed their existence. The elements those terrors are made of is what drives our retreat. Hurtful words others say are the monsters that chase us. Self-doubt (whether [...]