Yesterday, I experienced an overwhelming bout of anxiety (due to a combination of hormones, working with someone I think is genius and concerns over me not being able to produce tangible deliverables).

Being the sort of person who needs to look for solutions, I reached out to a friend who’s currently studying psychoanalysis to ask how anxiety is addressed.

His reply?

“Sustain” it over scattered moments. Gradual brushes and encounters with it so it feels familiar enough, though not tamed, over time.

It was the first time I’d heard anxiety referred to in such “friendly” terms.

In my dealings with other specialists or doctors of the mind, anxiety was always an illness to be medicated or a monster to be figured out so that it could be vanquished.

But now here was someone, saying that anxiety was something to be encountered, to be made familiar, that it didn’t need to be tamed.

It made me wonder if my anxiety was just a part of me – like a mole or an extra bone (which I have btw) – that’s neither good nor bad. It’s just there.

Maybe it feels uncomfortable and maybe I don’t understand why it exists. Maybe sometimes it feels debilitating but maybe it’s also what keeps me growing. And perhaps I can learn to live with it.

“In short it’s not pacified,” my friend continues.

“Because anxiety means you’re closer to the truth you can’t confront.”

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