Acknowledging Anxiety

Teddy Bear

It almost feels trendy to talk about anxiety these days.

In part, I suppose, because it’s become more prevalent due to the pandemic, and politics, and social media, and, and, and …

But has it though? Has become more prevalent, or just more visible?

Based on my experience I would say: why not both?

Here’s the thing: I’m not someone you might consider anxious. My more-or-less laid back personality is at the front of the stage.

Backstage, it’s a different story. The monkeys are busy. I worry. A lot.

  • Is that most recent ache or pain what finally kills me?
  • Did I look at that person inappropriately? Are they now annoyed with me?
  • Why has that person not replied to my email yet?
  • Did I accidentally insult someone?
  • Will people I care about be adversely affected by whatever’s happening to our country?
  • Oh, yeah, WTF is happening to our country?
  • What’s up with <person I care about>’s health? Will they be OK?
  • Am I spending my time wisely?
  • Are we doing the right thing(s) to treat our dog’s pain? Will we make “the decision” at the right time?
  • Will there be a world war? Will it strike close to home?
  • Do people still care about me?

You get the idea. In reality it’s a much longer list.

That the answers are often obvious is beside the point. Yes, I know there are people who care about me. But reality rarely has a direct a relationship to anxiety. Anxiety persists. Anxiety questions. Anxiety tells you what you believe to be true, isn’t.

That I have anxiety is not the point. Not even close.

The point is this: we all have anxiety. What differs is only the degree, and the topics. To be a caring human is to worry … about each other, about the future, about our family, about so many things.

Which brings me to my true point. Something I’ve said/quoted/misquoted so many times.

Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

Except, we do know.

We have a tiny window, knowing that anxiety is everywhere, because we see it in ourselves daily.