“I’m great, how are you? But are you really? I can admit that the term anxiety seems a lot more overused to me nowadays than in years gone by. Everyone’s got a family member who suffers from a type of anxiety. I probably rolled my eyes in my head a time or two until I actually looked up a little bit more about anxiety. In my mind, a person who was anxious or suffering from an anxiety attack was weak and overly nervous for no apparent reason. In my mind, they just couldn’t cope with the hard stuff because they were... weak.
I don’t know why I thought that. Maybe years of believing that only the hardest working people got anywhere, regardless of your character, skills, and talents. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America mentions 7 specific disorders that are can be diagnosed and treated by healthcare professionals. The part that amazed me as I scanned through the website and articles is the mention that “Fear, anxiety, and depression are normal feelings and experiences.”
So wait. While everyone is trying to pretend that they aren’t ever afraid, stressed out about the inevitable—i.e. feeling anxious— or depressed, it’s supposed to be... normal? Both men and women are guilty of painting face and reciting the “I’m great, how are you” chant. But are you though?
Anxiety is normal. It means that something you’re doing isn’t working. Anxiety unchecked is detrimental to your creativity and your wellness. Yes, yes, definitely “speak to your doctor” if you’re experiencing feelings of hopelessness about the inevitable future. You first need to recognize when anxiety has arrived. If you’re not doing great, acknowledge that. It’s OK. The people who are judging you probably don’t know better anyway. The people who are reaching to help you, do.
- Adrianne Marcia