I’ve had a serious case of blogging writer’s block. Even writing this blog post has lead me to extreme distraction and procrastination. I am now currently pan frying some brussels sprouts, because A. I was craving vegetables, B. That Kerry Gold butter we splurged on isn’t going to eat itself, and C. Cooking is not blogging. To be fair however, at least I feel like writing again. Though I have written a good amount in the past year, it’s all primarily been a reflection of how lousy things have been since November. So coming out of my eight-month anxiety cocoon is a welcomed feeling–the wedding I had a huge role in planning has passed, the film I partially produced is all set, and my non-career-related job that I’ve held down for two and a half years is in its final days. And most importantly, a trip I’ve planned/saved for/talked about for nearly seven years is three weeks away.
A few years back, a very kind coworker of mine surprisingly blurted out that he thought anxiety was made up. It was pretty shocking, since this person was a great listener and all around pretty understanding guy. But in his experience, he simply “didn’t understand why people did it to themselves.” It got me thinking. I always assumed that those who didn’t understand the physical realities of anxiety were self-centered, unsympathetic jerk-faces. But here was a friend of mine, whom I deeply respected, suddenly saying that he thought worrying was a choice.
That day, it hit me that some people genuinely do not experience the cycle of worry that some of us have faced ever since we found out that we could get lost in the grocery store when we were five. I have spent the better part of my teenage and twenty-somethng years diving into the different approaches to address anxiety. I am happy to say it no longer runs my life, even though it is still very present. The major difference is that I have learned to recognize the funny little battle that goes on in my mind each time I make a decision or face a new experience out in the real world.
I can never speak for anyone else’ experience with anxiety, since we are all such special worrisome snowflakes, so it would be unfair to say that this is everyone’s process. And yet, these are the three characters I have become deeply familiar with over my years.