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Maybe This Is the First Step in Facing My Anxiety

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A friend sent me this earlier today:

“My whole life I’ve been telling myself ‘don’t be afraid.’ And it is only now that I’m realizing how stupid that is. Don’t be afraid. Like saying ‘don’t move out of the way when someone tries to punch you’ or ‘don’t flinch at the heat of the fire’ or ‘don’t blink.’ Don’t be human. I’m afraid and you’re afraid and we’re always going to be afraid, because that’s the point. What I should be telling myself is ‘be afraid, but do it anyway. Live anyway.’”  — Unknown

That quote, combined with a late night anxiety spike, got me thinking. What if, instead of being stifled by our demons, we stand up to them? I know what I’m saying is incredibly difficult, and it will take work. So, maybe the first step is facing your demons, looking at them dead in the eye and saying, “Yes I’m terrified of you. But bring it on anyways.”

Facing them, staring them down, and communicating that yes, you are afraid but also are ready for whatever they can dish out, can take away their power. Just for a little bit, until they retaliate. But for that small frame of time, you may feel free. Because you have thrown off the demons. You have confused them. They don’t recognize this person standing up to them. Where did that other person go? She’s gone. At least for a few moments.

My point is, facing our demons and standing up to them is quite possibly a very large step towards recovery. I did it for the first time tonight, and so far it’s been wonderful. I will endeavor to do it more and more often, whenever I need to, and I suggest you do the same. It may just be the one action that breaks those chains and helps you stand on your own two feet to fend off those demons once and for all. I have faith in each and every one of you. We can do it!

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Thinkstock image by panic_attack

Originally published: December 27, 2016
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