635996525964309075-2059724703_social anxiety

What is Anxiety?


You ever get that moment where you want to do something but, somewhere in the depths of your mind something tells you that you shouldn’t. That’s anxiety. Dictionary.com defines anxiety as distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. What this means is, you’re afraid to do something because the outcome, no matter how good or bad, scares you. I know how that feels. I live with anxiety problems everyday. See, I’m currently unemployed and I have been for about 2 years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have tried looking and I even had some interviews. My problem is, I don’t try hard enough because I get scared or nervous of being rejected. I’m sure there are a lot of people that feel this way. You find something you want to do; losing weight, asking someone on a date or just wanting to do something outside your comfort zone.
All people have that small voice in the back of their heads. The problem is, that voice is louder for people with anxiety. The voice isn’t there to stop you from doing bad things, it’s there to stop you from doing things you really want to do. That voice fills your head with negative thoughts even before you act. Before you can even think, “I have a good feeling today is going to be a good day.” that voice is screams in your head saying, “Today will be a bad day. Just stay home and do nothing. It will be less painful.” And here’s the problem, people with anxiety,  they listen to that voice. They don’t smack it in the face and yell back louder. They take what that voice says and believes it. They don’t try and fight it or ignore it. Pushing that voice away is a very hard thing to do for a person with anxiety. There are people that don’t get other people with anxiety. They just say, “Suck it up!” or “Why are you worrying? Nothing bad will happen.” Unfortunately, even though a person with anxiety may want to believe them, that voice in their head is louder than their friend’s.
Anxiety can be brought on by many things; being rejected too many times by jobs or love interests, or even brought on by abuse (whether parental or spousal). These  actions plant those negative and worrying thoughts into someone’s mind. It makes them second guess wanting to do things with other people. It makes them worried, on a daily basis, if the people around them are trustworthy. This also prevents people from excelling at a job or school. For see, some people with anxiety despise large crowds. They can’t go to school, malls or things like amusement parks because they just can’t handle being around so many people at once.
I’ll tell you something about myself. I am an overweight 27 year old that still lives with his parents. Why? Because I just can’t muster the courage to get up and do something about it. Sure every now and then I get a small bit of courage and try something, but after a few days, that dies. Some people call it lazy and just being to comfortable. Well, to the second one, I’d say you’re right. It IS about being comfortable. Someone like me will not want to go out of that comfort zone too easily. They want to do what they always do and just pass the day away. Doing something outside their comfort zone, depending on how big, could be painful. It can wear them out both physically and mentally and, if they have some condition like high blood pressure, the stress of all that happens could give them a heart attack.

Living with anxiety is no circus. The want and need to have more than you already have is just as strong as with someone who do not suffer from it, but the drive and the courage it takes to succeed in getting what they want/need is a lot higher. If you have someone close to you that is suffering from anxiety like symptoms, don’t push them away or belittle the situation. You need to comfort them, give them courage and tell them they are worth what they want to strive to be. Anxiety is tough to get over, but with the right encouragement and people around them, they can not only get over it, they can excel in anything they set their minds to.

(Ed’s note: Jon is a damn talented guy, and I asked him to write this article after he posted the following comic on Facebook.)








Jonathan Howe

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