Your Own Personal Brat
October 3, 2021
Low Entropy Volunteer Writer Anna Bernsteiner examines the concept of anxiety through the lens of a toxic relationship with a fellow with an unfortunate name.
Let’s talk about everyone’s annoying little friend Anxiety. Known for various crimes. Creeping inside your brain at night, twisting and turning your thoughts so you doubt and question your entire being. Constantly trying to convince you of all the things that can go wrong and all the failures ahead. And making a sport out of reminding you of every single insecurity that has ever crossed your mind.
I call mine Brat. ‘Cause then I can say,
“My anxiety is such a brat.” Annoying, spoiled little kid. I think that’s pretty accurate. I can’t just kick him out, so I guess I have to learn how to live with him. Maybe I should befriend him. Tell everyone about him.
But how hard is it to admit your problems to another human being? Or, even better, how hard is it to admit it to yourself?
It’s not as easy as saying
Hey you, I have anxiety. It’s difficult sometimes. It occasionally takes over and feels like I can’t move or think about anything else. I feel like a failure, worthless. Stick with me, I guess?
A little anxiety is normal, it’s your body trying to watch out for you, trying to protect you.
Maybe you get the shivers when thinking about a big test coming up, the first day at work or presenting in front of a big audience.
Yet what if this kid grows up to be a constant disruptive abusive adult who doesn’t want to be controlled or leave you alone?
What if it seems like life is too overwhelming for you. Nothing you do is enough or works out. Constant doubt. Constant fear. Constantly on your mind.
Honestly, between you and me, I have not yet found a way to get rid of him. Kid or adult. Still living in my head rent-free. Having tantrums and trashing the place.
So why am I even writing this, if I have absolutely no solution?
Here is why. Growing up, mental health has always been a scary topic to talk about. Anxiety wasn’t a thing. A new sickness just invented. People seeking attention. Weird. You just didn’t talk about it.
So it’s time to shine a light on the topic. Normalizing anxiety. Normalizing struggles. Normalizing fear.
When reading this, did it sound familiar? Did you feel like you have experienced this before?
Identifying the culprit is a great first step to taming your own personal Brat. See how anxiety is triggered. And if you know what triggers yours. You take some control back.
Think about it this way. There are lots of Brats out there and their number doesn’t get smaller. The opposite. Chances are there are people in your life feeling overwhelmed and anxious too.
And as always, sharing pain makes it feel just a little less scary. So instead of spreading Brats all around by staying silent, you can choose to share. You can choose to tell the people that care about you. You can choose to acknowledge your struggles.
And say, Hey my anxiety is a brat.
What about yours?
Brat’s the worst. Nobody likes that guy. How do you deal with characters like Brat? Comment below or talk your anxiety out with an empathetic group of listeners in a Conscious Connections meeting.
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