Listening to David Bowie this week, it struck me how much anxiety has the power to disable thought. So much so that we’re tempted to want to get rid of it altogether. We self medicate it in many ways which can provide a temporary fix but it can seem powerfully debilitating.
Although, there is no permanent escape from the black cloud of anxiety, we can stop ourselves from sinking into the quicksand. Arrogance can be a way of coping with unrecognised fears so we all have it, even if it sometimes may appear otherwise.
Sharing the anxiety and going through it with someone you feel safe with can help it feel more bearable. It can be so hard to remember that confidence can come slowly from knowing you can bear more and more of it. It’s like a muscle you have to exercise ready for the times when we have to cope with the big stuff like death and loss.
Early on we can become anxious about our attachments; we may learn that certain feelings are not acceptable and it becomes more difficult. New situations can bring back those very early fears, perhaps of abandonment or disapproval. Learning that the new situation has old associations that aren’t relevant any more can help us bear the feelings in the present. In the modern age, it feels like we ought to have more control over our lives than we actually do and this can feel a huge pressure. It can seem we should be able to overcome awful feelings alone, indeed we can go some way to alleviating these in various ways. It can also be a relief to accept feelings, understand them more thoroughly, listen to what our bodies know and let some of the deeper feelings be tolerated that perhaps anxiety is masking.