This Is My Brain On Fear

April 06, 2011

This is my brain on fear, as revealed on twitter Saturday, and the ONLY type of response that quells the tidal wave of anxiety that ensues:

When my brain is hooked on fear, this is what the inside of my brain sounds like:

I’m scared. I’M SCARED. F*&%. I am never going to make anything of myself. Why do I even think I deserve all of this for? I’m TOO FAT to run outside. Everyone hates me. Everyone thinks I’m gross. I am never going to be successful. I am never going to be able to not live paycheck to paycheck. My girlfriend probably secretly hates me. The world is going to end in 2012. I’m never going to be able to have babies! I could never afford babies anyway. What am I going to do? I’M SCAREDDDDD.

Fun right? Yep, not so much. And let me tell you, a spiral that begins with this type of fear, doesn’t end until it is 3 AM as my ability to pull myself together completely falls apart. This fear used to freeze me in my tracks, and force me to abandon all of my best ambitions.

On the surface, this spiral is not a typical body-image issue, however, topics that concern self-worth? Concern Medicinal Marzipan.

Not believing that you are worthy of the good things happening in your life can be just as insidious as diminished body image, because the core of both issues is the same:

what are you worth?

Aren’t you worth more than cowering with fear late at night as if the sky is falling all around your bed? Aren’t you worth believing that everything is going to work out in the end? Don’t you owe it to yourself to take a couple of deep breaths and cut yourself some slack?

I have found that my self-esteem and my capacity to contain my anxiety are like two little frenemies holding hands in the deep recesses of my subconscious. On the surface they are skipping around and playing paddy cake, but if one should falter just a little or get nervous, it kicks the legs out from under the other, toppling both into a writhing, screaming pile on the floor.

So, what can you do? Examine the evidence. Write a list. Test your own reality.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow with tips and recommendations for examining the evidence. oxoxxo