The Mighty recently published an article about living with high-functioning anxiety and it got me thinking.
I got into a car accident (not my fault) several years ago that triggered a long period of crippling anxiety. It affected me in ways that I'm still not quite ready to talk about. But I went to a psychologist and she helped me develop coping mechanisms, and now I'm pretty much okay.
That doesn't mean that I no longer suffer from anxiety though. I just means that I can function through it. I actually function really well through it; it pushes me, makes me question everything I do, which in turn makes me better.
I think that one of the differences between being anxious and suffering from anxiety is that being anxious is a temporary, normal and even healthy state - one that we've evolved to help us in times of trouble - whereas when you suffer from anxiety, it's always there, and you just learn how to manage it, when to ignore it and when to listen to it.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn't suffer from anxiety. Would I be as ambitious? As successful? Am I these things because of my anxiety or despite it?
I do know one thing though; I'm much more resilient now for having learned those coping mechanisms, and I owe a large part of this resilience to that psychologist of mine.
If you're struggling with anxiety, I strongly recommend finding someone who can help you build those coping mechanisms. The exact techniques are different for everyone, but it's worth finding yours. There is hope, and you can get through this. I believe in you, even if you don't. Feel free to email me or send me a private message on social media if you ever need support. xxoo
thumbnail image by Fashionby He