Buzzfeed’s “24 Comics That Capture The Frustration Of Anxiety Disorders” resonated with my panicky self. Which comic most aptly describes your own experience with anxiety or panic?
I’ve been known to leave gatherings without saying goodbye — certainly during panic attacks, of course, but even at other times when I’m feeling perfectly fine. To me, it’s an anticipatory social anxiety thing.
Every once in awhile, I find a great webcomic that I identify with so strongly that all I can do is wave my pointer finger at the screen and yell “This!” to no one in particular.
Watch the fat just MELT right off! Use this product for radiant hair! Minimize those unsightly pores! Just…just be PERFECT! Buy now.
Has anyone ever accused you of malingering — that is, faking sick? It’s all too common for those of us with illnesses that can’t easily be detected by the untrained everyman.
As a teenager, Jemima was diagnosed with OCD and has discovered that her anxiety manifests differently now as an adult. Her main triggers are interpersonal conflicts and romantic relationships.
Jemima lives in Brooklyn and deals with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She was officially diagnosed with OCD when she was a teenager.
Jemima is in her late twenties and works in television production. She describes herself as a “lover of anything with a beating heart”, but quickly notes that bears are the sole exception to this rule.
Do you think it’s possible to become grateful for our anxious suffering? Can we learn from it? Is it just a painfully uncomfortable downer or can it help us to grow?
(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)
In case you missed my last post, here’s Rule #4:
Describe what is happening. Notice what is really happening in your body right now…not what you fear might happen.
WHY THIS IS SO DIFFICULT
Look over my little elevator monologue. Only one of my thoughts comes even close to describing the “what is.” The rest only describes the “what if.” (If you had trouble picking out the single “what is,” I’ll point it out: “I’m already feeling tense…”)
If you’ve been playing the “what if” game forever, it’s not easy to shake. It’s automatic. My brownie girl scout handbook told me 22 years ago to be prepared, and I’ve taken that lesson to heart.
WHY THIS IS SO EASY
But here’s the thing about being “prepared” (and yes, if you heard me read that sentence aloud in real life, I would do air quotes for “prepared”): it’s not always good to be prepared for everything.
Yes, you heard me right: sometimes, being prepared is not a good thing. Sometimes, being prepared can take us away from the present moment.