I have a friend who can turn anything positive. He’s not sappy-sweet with it, either. Just matter of fact, the glass half-full kind of person. I envy him and am grateful he’s in my life to give me a lift when my brain attacks me. I don’t know how he does it, it’s just who he is. However, recently, I decided to try to take a page from his book and see if I can find anything positive about my anxiety. I came up with a few and thought I’d share them.

  1. I have a thousand death scenes in my head. I’m a writer and sometimes coming up with an effective death scene is difficult. However, my anxiety has my brain working on this problem on a regular basis. I now have so many ways to die that I don’t think I’ll ever run out of them. Eat that, George RR Martin.
  2. I have a ready excuse to get out of a boring event. Let’s face it. You’d rather not go to your neighbour’s dinner party where you know it’s just a reason for her to show off her latest acquisition. Everyone knows that’s what this is about but no one says a word and they all play along. I don’t have to go. See, I can say, truthfully, that I have anxiety and being in a group of people is likely to trigger me. No one, except an asshole, is going to question that.
  3. I’m a detail person. Yes, I’ll proofread that document 20 times before it goes to the client. You can guarantee that I’ll spot the typo because I’m going into a tailspin if I miss it. The product I hand over is going to be correct within an inch of its life. Unless it’s a blog then I just let that shit fly.
  4. It keeps me out of trouble. I can smell trouble like most people smell baby poop. I avoid that shit because my anxiety is a trouble radar that I listen to very closely. This is why I’ve never been arrested, folks.
  5. I’m far more compassionate. I understand what it is to be alone and afraid. To have no one in your corner while others around you are screaming to “just get over it” or “clean yourself up” in one form or another. I know what it is to wake up without enough energy to get out of bed while people around me call me lazy. I get it. So I can look at another human being and see past the scars and the hurts and the fear and see them. Maybe that’s not much but I can do that, at least.

Anxiety is tough to live with and that will never change. I will try to look for the positive when I can, when anxiety isn’t kicking my ass. That’s all I can do, I suppose.

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