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If You're an Introvert With Anxiety, These Comics Are for You

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Attention anyone with anxiety who spent time in class with their head down doodling in a notebook: This is a comic series for you.

It’s called Introvert Doodles and started as a “self-pep talk” by a comic who goes by Marzi. She was inspired to explore her identity as an introvert after a personality test made her realize her introverted tendencies weren’t flaws — they were part of her personality.

On her site, she explains (in a doodle, of course):

Text reads: The story of Introvert Doodles. In speech bubbles : Hi! I'm Marzi. I spent most of my life feeling kind of backwards, because I didn't enjoy things other people said were fun. I didn't like parties, and being in groups wore me out. I liked to be alone, but this worries those who cared about me. Then one day, I found some info about personality types online. And it finally clicked for me. My "flaws" were a part of a bigger picture! And the things I like best about myself (being perceptive, creative and thoughtful) go hand i hand with my introvertive tendencies. For the first time, I realized... I'm ok, exactly as I am. I don't need to change to fit someone else's ideal. Of course, being in introvert in an extrovert world means that I end up in some awkward and funny situations, but now I can laugh about them.
source: Introvert Doodles

“I was surprised when others connected with my doodles on Instagram,” she told The Mighty in a email. (“I’d love to hear from you. Just not over the phone,” she writes on her site.) “I realized I wasn’t the only one discovering that it’s OK to be an introvert.”

She also also features comics about living with anxiety, although, she says, having anxiety and being an introvert are not synonymous.

“My anxiety began in my teens. I consider myself lucky, as right now it’s managed pretty well with medication,” she said. “I’m an introvert who happens to have anxiety… Being an introvert simply means you draw your energy from within, and social outings drain your energy. It’s a personality you’re born with and not something that needs to be fixed.”

Introvert Bingo
source: Introvert Doodles

“Sometimes anxiety and introversion overlap,” Marzi said. “In those cases, its helpful to identify the differences, so you know which tendencies to work on and which to embrace. I’ve learned that some things I was trying so hard to fix, didn’t need to be fixed at all. For example, it’s OK that I don’t have a big group of friends; it’s perfectly all right to just have one or two. It’s fine to leave a party early when I’m overstimulated. There’s nothing wrong with being quiet and only talking when I have something to say. As for the anxiety, I’m actively working to manage it.”

She says introverts like herself are finding a voice — and learning while their strengths are different from those of extroverts, they are no less valuable. And that while living with anxiety sometimes comes along with being an introvert, it’s not something that should be dismissed.

“The most important thing I want those without anxiety to understand is this: even though the perceived danger may be irrational, the fear itself is very real,” she said. “So please, try to be patient.”

Here are more of her relatable anxiety doodles:

Comic with two section. In the first section, a girl is sitting in bed. A man at the door says: You're being ridiculous. Just jump out of bed already. Text reads: How he feels. In the second section, the same girl is on a life raft in the middle of an ocean. A man on an island says: You're being ridiculous! Just jump overboard already! Text reads: How anxiety feels.
source: Introvert Doodles
Anxiety award stickers that read: I showed up! I didn't hid in the bathroom (for too long). I survived a panic attack. I was kind to myself today. I made a phone call. I made eye contact with a cashier.
source: Introvert Doodles
Chart of a girl having a panic attack
source: Introvert Doodles
Comic explaining how anxiety is like having a bear jump out at you.
source: Introvert Doodles
comic explaining how to help someone during a panic attack
source: Introvert Doodles
comic showing what anxiety is like.
source: Introvert Doodles

To see more from Marzie, visit her site and follow her on Instagram.

Originally published: June 3, 2016
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