“The more anxious we are, the more we’d really love someone to come and take the load off us and help us cope for a bit. This presents us with a cruel anxious irony: The more anxious we are, the more high functioning we will make ourselves appear, which just encourages the world to lean on us more.”
I read this quote recently on an Instagram post and my jaw almost hit the floor.
These words, from Sarah Wilson’s incredible book First, we make the beast beautiful, so effortlessly and clearly describe how I’ve felt on a daily basis for the past 4 or 5 years. I didn’t realise that my constant list making, reshuffling and straightening of paper stacks and overall efficiency and organization was me simply trying to quell my anxiety and gain some semblance of control in my life.
My productivity and ‘shit-together-ness’ is something that I’ve looked upon as a positive trait. One that ensures that the wheels keep turning and that achievement is ever present. That anxious buzz is something that I’ve tried to use to my advantage. I’ve used it to function and achieve at a higher level but it’s left me feeling as if there’s always a breakdown looming just over the horizon. I never get close enough to touch it but the fear of its build is constant.
I’m coming to realise that my anxiety isn’t simply panic attacks every now and then. It’s low level fear on the daily. It’s more a part of me than I wanted to believe. It’s scary but relieving to realise this. This knowing is what will guide me to slow down, to simplify. With that in mind, here’s a poem I wrote.
This is what I’m being called to do.
Strip it all back,
Until it’s just the bare bones of you.
There’s no need for rushing,
There’s only each breath,
Keeping time from this moment to next.
Pressure has no place here.
Worry can leave too.
I’m leaving space to welcome in,
The feeling of life anew.
Presence is returning,
She grabs my hand to say,
“I’ve missed you silly human,
Let’s take it day by day.”
There’s nothing here to fix or change.
There’s nothing here to mould.
There’s only stripping back,
The stories I’ve been told.
I’m feeling the excitement,
That comes with clarity.
I honour her for waiting,
So damn patiently for me.
If you’re a high-functioning anxious woman and would love some support to simplify your life, I’m here foryou. As a coach, I support young women to understand the story of their lives, embrace their innate authenticity and take back authorship. Simply click this link to book a Complimentary Clarity Call and we can get started!