I’m not going to lie: anxiety sucks hairy monkey testicles and I wish it would curl up into a ball and die already so I can move on with my life. However, I don’t really like talking about the bad stuff, because it depresses everyone including myself. So I thought I’d sum up the good things I’ve gotten out of this experience, because there are a few.
I’ve become more emphatic
I used to be a really rational person who always went with what her brain told her. Who cares about what the heart wants? Thanks to anxiety, I’ve become a much more emphatic person, and I believe (or hope) that I have also become a better friend for it. I can now more easily put myself in someone else’s shoes and think about what I would do in that situation. I would often resent friends who came to me for advice and then didn’t follow it, because clearly my option was better? But now I can see (or will always try to see) why they might feel like taking a different route.
I’ve become more positive
I’ve always been a really cynical person at heart, but over time, I’ve really trained myself in the art of happiness and positivity. One big part of that, for me, was to learn how to enjoy the little things in life because I wasn’t able to experience the big things. Today, I still keep a gratitude journal, where I write down good things about each day, no matter how small. It’s a good reminder that life is not all bad, you just have to look for the good stuff sometimes. But it’s all there.
For a long time, I wasn’t able to go to the hairdresser and as a result, my hair grew ridiculously long. When I finally did get my hair cut, I immediately cut off a large chunk and sent it off to a cancer fund that makes wigs from it. It’s just one example of how I try to turn negative things into something positive. It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot.
I’ve become more thoughtful
Anxiety has also made me a more thoughtful person towards others. I’m quicker to hand out compliments, I like sending out cards and letters, and I put a lot more thought into gifts. I’m much more aware of how kindness is a powerful force for good and how we don’t appreciate it enough, even though we all need it. A small act of kindness can brighten someone’s day immensely. In the end, you have no idea what someone is going through, so you might as well be kind. You might make someone’s day.
I get to spend more time with my parents
Even though sometimes I feel like I could run up the walls, my parents are very near and dear to me. I love that I’m around them so much and that I get to spend so much time with them. Thinking of them is the ultimate motivation for me to take care of myself. Without them, I would not be where I am today. Their support is endless and mom and I have a lot of fun together.
It gave me a new perspective on life
While it sucks that I’m pretty much dependent on my parents for everything, the time spent at home gives me plenty of opportunity to really think about what I want in life and what’s important to me. I’ve always been kind of clueless about what I want to do, but I’m getting there now. For one, blogging has always been a great way for me to keep busy. Thanks to reviewing and blogging, writing came along. I currently don’t have the energy to write a lot, but I love it when I get to play around and experiment and spend some time on old and new projects.
I’ve learned who my real friends are
When hard times are upon you, you find your real friends. Some people learn this the hard way, but I got pretty lucky. I haven’t been able to see any of my friends in over 2 years, but all the people that I used to hang out with are still there. I do feel like I miss out on a lot, but also know they’ll welcome me back with open arms once I’m ready and that’s awesome.
You also meet a ton of people online when you’re stuck at home. It’s much easier to find people who understand what you’re going through and you can distract and inspire each other if necessary. Some of my internet friends are my closest friends and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
What’s something you’ve learned during a really tough time?