Living with chronic anxiety is a bitch. I know this because I experience high levels of adrenaline every day simply by waking up every morning. My life has been a long bumpy anxious ride. People often don’t understand my “quirky” behaviors due to anxiety. I’ve learned, over the years that it's not important what other people think. What matters is that I recognize when anxiety is coming out to play, and I punch that bitch in the face. Here’s how YOU can too.
Scenario: You wake up, and your heart is racing like a murderer is chasing you down the street. What do you do? You have two options:
A. Pull the covers over your head and hide.
B. Get up and make coffee even though you feel like you are about to die.
Friends, choose option B. Anxiety is a punk ass motherfucker, and you don’t want to let it win. Anxiety is trying to scare you into curling up into the fetal position and giving up. You don’t have to listen to it. Yes, you will feel awful when you step out of bed. It’s going to feel like you might pass out but DO IT ANYWAY. Once you have some coffee, the world will feel a little less foggy and slightly more manageable. Trust me; this is coming from someone who has dealt with many panic attacks over the years.
Scenario: A close friend of yours hurt your feelings. You are dreading telling your friend how you feel. They won’t understand and what’s the point anyway? Anxiety is telling you to keep your emotions inside and feel miserable. What do you do?:
A. Eat your feelings in the form of a box of Oreos.
B. Call your friend up and tell them you are hurt.
Anxiety, you are not going to win this time. My fellow anxious comrades, the answer is option B. Sure, confrontation is terrifying, but what’s the alternative? Sitting in the corner and shame spiraling. No way! In the words of Andrea, the drunk therapist on the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: “Happy people value their needs as much as otherses.” “Otherses” is not a real word, according to spell check on Microsoft Word, but you get the idea. Anxiety wants you to believe that your feelings don’t matter. Bitch, please! My feelings matter and yours do too. So let your friend know in an “I-message.” “I feel hurt when you call me an unmotivated slacker,” just for example.
Final Scenario: Your bank account is overdrawn a significant amount and you don’t want to deal with it. Do you...?:
A. Avoid it and watch Netflix.
B. Go to the bank and deal with your shit.
Unfortunately, though I fucking love Netflix, the answer is B. Anxiety wants you to feel uncomfortable and sulk in your pajamas. Well, screw that, anxiety. You’re not going to win this time. You put on some yoga pants and a tee-shirt and drag your ass to the bank. Even if you can’t rectify the situation with your account immediately, the people at the bank may be able to discuss a payment plan with you. This is coming from someone who has overdrawn her account many times.
There’s a solution to your life dilemmas. It’s just a matter of sitting with your problem long enough to talk to your brain. Anxiety wants you to give up at the first signs of an uncomfortable situation. Why? Because anxiety is an asshole. You don’t have to deal with that garbage. You can fight back in the form of productive solutions. Worrying doesn’t solve problems; it just expends excess energy. Use your energy to brainstorm, be creative and tell anxiety to go fuck itself.
The next time anxiety rears its ugly head, tell it that you’re busy getting out of bed, telling your friend how you feel and paying off your overdraft fees, and other amazing life choices you are making. You don’t have time for its shenanigans. That’s how you make anxiety your bitch.