In my heart and head I am many good things. I am a cheerleader. I am creative. On my good days, I am playful and full of humor. I also have incredible hope for the world and the ability of change-makers to make great things happen.
Despite these strengths and positive predispositions, I also struggle from the twin demons of Anxiety and Depression. Depression has less of a hold on me now — although I experience some terribly depressive thoughts and moods when Anxiety pounces on me. And lately, Anxiety has found plenty of opportunities to pounce.
This should come as no surprise. I’ve been been going through some major changes of late. And Anxiety loves to use the unknown of the future and force my brain to be filled with false assumptions, powerlessness thinking, and loss of perspective.
My therapist and my numerous books tell me to counter these negative thoughts with more positive “consider this” thinking.
For false assumptions I am to consider the best possible scenario and then figure that landing somewhere in the middle between worst and best is quite likely and quite manageable.
When I am feeling powerless, I am supposed to activate whatever positive thinking I can muster, and thus, take the first step in a better direction.
And for loss of perspective, I am to try and and imagine many possible perspectives and figure that getting lost in the worst possible option is in no way helpful.
Of course, as I am typing this I am reading from a notebook with nearly illegible scribbles from notes I’ve taken after meeting with my therapist or reading a couple chapters of a book on cognitive behavioral therapy. In other words, I’m reading notes after having experienced a terrible bout with Anxiety, and I’ve taken the first step to a better place (I hope).
I’ve already written that I wish there were better resources out there. Realistically, there would be great crib notes always available in my pocket. Or, in a more science fiction-y sort of way, there would be an anti-Anxiety, virtual-reality pair of glasses or headphones I could don to get my brain thinking, hearing, and seeing the more realistic (better) options regarding the unknown future.
But these things don’t exist. So instead, Anxiety pounces on me, and I am left to do the hard work of remembering how to think better.
“Anxiety. Get thee behind me.”