“You see, we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn’t run away – I rose right where I’d been knocked down. And then that’s how you get to know yourself. You say, hmm, I can get up! I have enough of life in me to make somebody jealous enough to want to knock me down. I have so much courage in me that I have the effrontery, the incredible gall to stand up. That’s it. That’s how you get to know who you are.” — Maya Angelou
When you can dig deep to uncover that stinging level of honesty, people will relate to your authenticity. So stop being scared and write the hard stuff. Fiction or nonfiction, it doesn’t matter.
Accept now, before you even start, that some people will hate it. Then again, some will love it. Write for the lovers.
Strip yourself naked, bare your soul, and be brave.
We don’t need the government to change things, and we never have. We don’t need the president to agree with us in order to call a bigot a bigot. Every battle fought in the interest of equality and fairness has been fought without the approval or interest of the government and those in charge. Sure, it’s easier with that seal of approval — and yes, a lot of the hurt and pain we are feeling right now is made so much worse because we started to think we were close to not having to fight quite as hard — but they need that more than we do. They need societal approval more than we do, because they are weak.
Take this into consideration — the absolute worst thing conservatives have ever had to go through, as a movement, was the last eight years of Barack Obama being president. Behold, how rattled they were after merely a few years of having to deal with the abject trauma of sometimes being told they were racist or sexist on Facebook! How it hurt them to have to see people say “Black Lives Matter!” How it broke their little hearts to see women as Ghostbusters! The poor dears! They could barely stand it.
All of this, to them, was so positively unbearable that they completely fell the fuck apart. Their very first test of being slightly uncomfortable, and they decided to burn it all down. They went in for the Alex Jones shit, they wore tricorner hats and cried about how they wanted their country back. Electing Trump was not a show of their collective strength but of their collective weakness in the face of adversity. We don’t fall apart, they do.
“All this pain, all this suffering…even though it almost broke me, almost turned me into the worst version I could be capable of being, in the end, all it did was make me want to save the world, made me want to spend the rest of my days improving myself and helping others too.
That’s why I write. Why I blog. I try to make sense of my suffering, and hopefully help others understand their own struggles.
. . .
The real struggle is in the choice. The real pain. In walking on the street without wishing for someone to hold your hand, in spending time by yourself without feeling bored as hell, in working your ass off every day, trying to better yourself. The pain of choosing to love yourself even though you hate what you see in the mirror. To help the broken even though some of them will try to break you as well.”
Source: Life is pain « Cristian Mihai
For most people I talk to, when I tell them I have an anxiety disorder, they nod their head and tell me it’ll be okay. When I tell them, “I’m sorry, I’m having a bad anxiety day, can we reschedule?” They smile and tell me there’s nothing to worry about and if I just get out of bed, I’ll see that everything is fine. When I don’t want to go bar hopping because I know that alcohol only increases my anxious tendencies I hear, “You’re fine. It’ll be fun. Let off some steam!”
Meanwhile, my heart is pounding so fast that I’m afraid it may be visibly beating out of my chest. But it isn’t. My head isn’t actually spinning in circles. My eyes are not crossed like my blurred vision indicates. My knees aren’t wobbling along with the trembling muscles fighting the urge to collapse. My face isn’t pale and my eyes aren’t bloodshot. No, on the outside, I look like I do every day. My hair is clean. My clothes match. I am awake, alive and breathing fine. So nothing is wrong, right?
That’s the thing about anxiety disorders. We look fine. Of course, we look fine. Our legs aren’t broken. Our tongues haven’t been cut out. We aren’t cut or bruised. Because anxiety is not a physical disability. That however, does not make it any less debilitating.
Anxiety is a complex disorder and it is nothing to simply smile and nod away. You telling us everything is okay not only doesn’t help us, but it hurts us more because nobody seems to take it seriously.
So here are some things I would like you to know about struggling with anxiety.
It is not constant.
There are days when I can make it through without having to stop and breathe or pop a Xanax. I can smile and laugh. I can be productive and go to work, go out to dinner, go see a movie with my friends. And trust me, I know how difficult it is to understand how I can be fine one day and the next, not be able to get out of bed. That’s just how it is.
Which leads me to my next point:
It comes in waves.
Anxiety is a strange beast. It will let me have some fun for a couple of days and I think, hmm maybe it’s finally left me alone. Then a few days go by, and I wake up one morning unable to even think straight because for whatever reason, the beast has once again emerged and there is nothing I can do to stop it from coming because I have woken up to it sitting on my chest smiling as if I’m welcoming it home.
It can be completely paralyzing.
I don’t know if this one applies to everyone, but I know it is a very big piece of my anxiety disorder. When anxiety hits, I am frozen. I can get up and go through the motions of my day but my brain is elsewhere, held captive by whatever “demon” is inhabiting me this time. I cannot think about anything except my inability to think or breathe or feel. Let that one sink in. My brain feels like it is literally paralyzed, as if it is stuck in some kind of limbo with no doors or windows or exits of any kind.
The worst part? I’m completely alone in there.
It can ruin relationships.
Not just romantic relationships, but a relationship of any kind. Friendships and relationships alike can be destroyed by this condition. I have experienced both, and it is the most devastating kind of loss. Why? Because it is not our fault.
It is a disorder that, without the knowledge of how to care for it properly, can explode over time. Eventually, it can become too much for someone else to carry around with them. If they become close enough to you to experience firsthand the effects of your anxiety, it can become too much for them and they might sever the ties for their own mental health. And it hurts like hell.
But I can’t blame them because if I could choose to stay as far away from anxiety as they can, I would in a heartbeat.
It can make trust nearly impossible.
I know it sounds awful to blame trust issues on anxiety but in all honestly, it’s not placing blame, it’s placing responsibility. Anxiety almost never fails to make you think the worst of every situation.
If someone doesn’t answer my text, well then that’s it, they no longer like me. If someone doesn’t text me first, they don’t think about me. Someone is busy? Forget it. They just have better things to do with their time than spend it with me. I sound ridiculous, right? Welcome to the anxiety life. We do not have cookies, sorry, but can I interest you in crippling loneliness at a table for one? No? Didn’t think so.
I do not want this.
. . .
I will overcome it.
But it will take time. Fighting anxiety can be a never-ending battle with frequent slip ups and breakdowns along the way. I am still in the process personally, and it is not easy. At all. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. And I have been through a lot. Anxiety however, takes the cake.
Note: I tried to keep it short, to not actually use all the article’s text, but I couldn’t bring myself to cut more out. Every word of it needs to be said, and read, by as many people as possible. Understanding is everything.
I’m rarely in the moment with other people because I’m in my head, over-thinking, worrying, and analyzing. Those same thoughts and worries also prevent me from initiating hangouts and following up on rescheduling plans. I always assume that if someone doesn’t contact me or has to cancel a plan we’ve made that they don’t like me. I take any kind of rejection, real or perceived, incredibly personally. I obsess about what people say and do, analyzing their words and actions for cues to help me figure out what they really think of me.
Of course, this is the same kind of thinking that they might be applying to me as a result of my quietness and failure to initiate or reschedule. I’m doing the exact same thing that I don’t want them to do to me. It’s too bad that anxiety doesn’t respond well to basic logic.
We turned to face the faint light. As if a few feet would make a difference in the millions of miles that separated us, we all drifted a bit closer to the water in the direction of the already brighter pink sky. In that first light I noticed we had not been alone.
“Writers seem to me to be people who need to retire from social life and do a lot of thinking about what’s happened–almost to calm themselves.”
“If we had no speed limits or traffic laws, some people would drive like idiots, even more than they do now. If we had no age of consent, some people would have sex with children, even more than happens now. If there was no IRS, no taxes would be paid, and our country would collapse overnight into anarchy, a horror almost beyond imagining.
And if we had basically no gun restrictions…whoops. We don’t. And gun crime is rampant, and accidental shootings as well, and mass slaughters are becoming more and more common.
One political party in America wants to have meaningful regulations, regulations that would not infringe on the right to gun ownership any more than speed limits infringe on the ability to drive your car. The other party wants mayhem and murder, crime and terrorism, mass shootings, 5 year old boys shooting their 2 year old sisters, and they will fight to the death to keep as many of those things happening as possible.
via Grammar Jedi
But the danger we perceive doesn’t actually have to be there. We just have to think that it is.
Whether the danger is real or imagined, our automatic survival mechanisms will kick in and we will try to escape or avoid the danger.
We might avoid certain people or places. We might refuse to go out. Perhaps we’ll only go out with someone else present and then leave early.
Whilst our coping behaviours get us through the perceived danger, they actually keep our anxiety going. As long as we depend on them to cope, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for the anxiety to go away on its own.
Learning to confront our anxiety might be uncomfortable in the short term, but it helps us take control and feel better in the long term.
If you feel anxiety starting to overwhelm you, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you fear is actually going to happen. What is the worst that could happen and how would you cope with it if it did? Imagine it is six months from now. How important will this feel then?
Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean things really are bad. Imagine yourself coping with this situation. If you can handle it in your imagination, you can handle it in reality.
via Inner Child Healing.