I’m feeling really anxious now… about the past, the present, and the future. It is quite difficult to explain this feeling through words, but I’ll try my best. It feels like I am right on the edge of something terrible happening, but that terrible thing never actually happens. It’s like that feeling you get before going on a roller coaster ride. You’re panicking as the fear beings setting in. But you never actually get on that roller coaster and the fear never fully sinks in.
Imagine being tied to a chair and watching a spider inch closer and closer to you. I helplessly sit in my chair, absolutely terrified of the spider that is coming my way. But the spider never actually lands on me. I’m on a time loop: just when the spider gets close enough to touch me, the scene repeats itself and the spider continues walking towards me all over again.
They say that anxiety happens when we don’t let ourselves fully feel our fear. Waiting in line to go on a roller coaster ride is scarier than actually being on one, just like watching a spider walk towards you is scarier than finding one that’s already crawling on your body. What we imagine in our minds is a million times scarier than what is actually happening in real life.
Lately, all I can do is imagine. I have big, overwhelming dreams I am trying to chase yet I’m standing a thousand miles away from where I want to be. I look at other people’s lives, people who are around the same age as me, and it makes me even more anxious. I can’t help but think, “What are they doing? Why are they wasting their lives?” and then I look at myself and I feel like I’m also wasting my life. There’s too many obstacles in the way.
It certainly feels like my life is on pause right now. I’m trying my best to make myself feel like things are going forward, but everything seems to be going backwards. I don’t need a vacation, I don’t need a break, I don’t need more patience… I need a “play” button.
Anxiety is a part of life. And just like stress, we need a healthy amount to keep us alive. It is not necessarily a bad thing to feel anxious. Because everything seems to be going backwards, my anxiety is hurting me. But once things finally feel like they are moving forward again, I can transform my anxiety into excitement.