In almost every author interview I’ve seen or read, there is something big in common: they all have anxiety.
Go ahead, go check that out. Once you’re done, come back and you can read about my own personal fears and worries. Or you can stay and read them and then go check out your favorite authors. Tell me I’m wrong. Comment below that there are authors without anxiety. I’d love to read them. So far, I haven’t found one without it.
Anxiety itself isn’t new. Everyone has stress and everyone shows that stress in different ways. That is essentially what anxiety is. It’s the stress of life, both positive and negative, interacting with your body in ways that can heighten your senses or dull you down. That is the most basic part of anxiety.
That said, there are people with chronic anxiety and what goes with that isn’t always normal or rational. I have anxiety. I always have had anxiety.
A good example is that sometimes my mind wanders to a weird space. I will be at an intersection and stop to turn or wait for the light to turn green. In the process of that though, the thought that at any moment I could get hit or hit someone would cross my mind. It’s irrational. It’s not very likely. But, it’s enough to heighten my awareness and keep me alert as I cross that intersection.
I’ve always been like this. I would worry about something silly and at times sound like I don’t trust the person beside me who has my life in their hands (yes, I’ve had panic attacks about my mom making a choice). It’s not that I don’t trust them. I don’t trust the outside world. I want to be able to know everything and make sure I have all the options on hand before a decision is made.
It’s a control issue. It’s never been too debilitating . . . until I realized it is.
I am afraid of life. Not life, but living. I’m also afraid of death. And yes, I mean the full concept of dying and leaving behind everyone as well as the funeral process and what is to become of Casia both spiritual and physical.
I’m also afraid of heights. It actually goes with the death part. I don’t like the idea of falling and subsequently dying. A gun I could potentially run away from or maybe convince someone not to shoot me (not sure but the likelihood is better than me jumping off a cliff).
I don’t like open water. I get seasick and that prevents me from thinking or acting clearly. It also has sharks. Which I am unable to defend myself against.
I don’t like alcohol or cigarettes or drugs in general. Again, it’s the lack of control that the substances can cause. I have to be very comfortable in my surroundings and people before I can do those things and oftentimes, I just don’t.
I’m afraid of many other things. Like fungi. Fungi growing on people really bother me. It’s not normal. It’s scary.
Anyways, what I mean to say is that I’m afraid and I worry all the time. But one thing helps and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That’s writing.
I write and the tension just seems to go away. I can sleep better. I am more likely to do something and have a personal adventure. I can breathe.
And maybe that’s why so many people with anxiety write. It’s the act of putting yourself on paper. You are literally showing yourself to the world. You are doing a scary thing over and over and over again. It’s not until you decide that what you write doesn’t matter but the act of writing does, that everything seems to fall into place.
I’m still scared of things. I still have anxiety. But every word I put down, every story I write, or every blog post I show out, just makes the world feel that much more understandable. I try not to control the things I can’t control, but I can control my writing. So I write and I encourage you to as well.