Most of us have, at some point in time, come across those who seem to pride themselves in degrading and belittling the experience of others. Anxiety is often the perfect target. When judged by name alone, it can be viewed as either too strong for something that at first glance appears to be trivial, or on the other hand, too tame for something that can have such a drastic effect on the everyday lives of its sufferers.
The view that anxiety is insignificant or in any way false or an exaggeration is itself a component of the overall distress of the condition. We may feel we are the architects of our own pain rather than suffering from a legitimate mental illness. I am writing this blog post, firstly, to emphasise that your experience, my experience and our experiences are valid. But also because through our experiences of anxiety we also possess great strengths which we may overlook.
Every single person who has experienced anxiety has showed courage in some way. Where we fail to recognise our own personal triumphs and begin to compare ourselves to others is often where an anxiety based depression is rooted. Our daily battles may culminate in “mundane” things yet still that does not make them any less important or take away their significance. We must not forget to appreciate them.
I truly believe that those who experience anxiety possess a resilience that few others do, an ability to continue and function in a scary world. Being able to achieve X despite how you feel. My own experience of anxiety is that it often peaks at the start of the day. The following quote from David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ comes to mind “The soul’s certainty that the day will have to be not traversed but sort of climbed, vertically”. In essence, the fact that you are able to face a day with anxiety is a strength in itself. The ability to fight through any negative feelings you may have and continue, is brave. Your anxiety does not diminish your courage. You are not any less capable than anyone else, if anything, you are more capable.
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My name is Olivia and I am 19 and a second year LLB law student. I have lived with anxiety for several years now. I only recently discovered the Anxiety UK site and find it very helpful, especially this blog section where you are able to read other people stories and experiences. I have a student membership to Anxiety UK and would definitely recommend other students with anxiety to consider purchasing it. And also to follow Anxiety UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
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