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3 Ways Writing Helps Me Cope With My Anxiety

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Anxiety is assuredly the most unwelcome guest at my table of life. I can’t begin to describe what a struggle it can present itself as from time to time. Since the age of 16, I have dealt with this issue on many different, but equally as frustrating levels. Social anxiety, panic attacks and the seemingly second nature act of social isolation, was a way of dealing with the embarrassment and stigma placed upon those who struggle in this society. Why am I writing about this? I’m sharing my story because I not only want to be a disability advocate, but also a voice for those who share in the struggle of anxiety, and face its effects on the mind and body. You are not alone. We are not alone.

Writing is a form of therapy I find to be extremely helpful. I want to share my story because I am a voice. I have words to write, and thoughts to communicate on this matter. I know what it’s like. I know how it feels to feel a creeping sense of uneasiness without a logical explanation as to why. I am here to share how I deal with my issue. I am not cured, but I am managed with medication and my passion for writing. How does being a writer help me?

First of all, writing helps me to freely express myself without the fear of judgment from others I feel so often from in person socialization. The feel of my pen slowly gliding across the pages of my notebook as I write out my thoughts in such an open and honest way leaves me feeling liberated in a sense. I know I took on the role of a socially awkward individual as a result of growing up with cerebral palsy plus a couple of non-disability related life issues. I do not want pity. I am simply stating a fact. It is how I’ve grown up to feel and even as old as I am, I still deal with it at times. It’s reality. It’s valid. I am getting better at dealing with anxiety, but it still has its moments of rearing its ugly head. Writing lets me see my thoughts, internalize them and accept them.

Secondly, life as a writer keeps my mind active and on many tasks at one time. I love brainstorming, but sometimes I can just take a couple of hours to sit down and let my mind roam, jotting down what I feel and what’s on my heart and mind. A non-writing-writer is an identity I just can’t accept — that life cannot exist for me. A notebook and pen are my therapy; a most vital part of my functioning. A word of advice: keep going with whatever it is you love to do. Not everyone is a writer, but we all have different hobbies and talents within us. Get out there and do what you love. Learn to identify with your craft. Just keep going! You are not alone. We are not alone.

Lastly, becoming a writer has helped me to gain a unique kind of strength I don’t get from seeing people in person. My writing has helped me to bond and relate to so many other writers who share my same struggles day in and day out. The disability community is open, welcoming, kind and supportive. We all support one another in our careers and in life generally speaking. Through writing, my in-person communication has slightly improved (still a work in progress!) However, I am part of the best group of writing friends a girl can have. The thing about anxiety is, you just have to deal with it and try to remember how far you’ve come, instead of the struggles you face. Remember, you are not alone and together, we are not alone.

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Thinkstock photo via Jane_Kelly

Originally published: September 22, 2017
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