Worry sometimes graduates into anxiety which feels like a raging fire pit in my belly and a cacophony between my ears. It’s a constant version of the raw nerves I used to feel before performances. Like barely rehearsing a new solo aerial act and performing it in front of a big audience with high expectations. Before I felt ready. Before I felt worthy of having all eyes on me. Like, how was I supposed to deliver an ethereal-looking, emotion driven performance when my body was still trying to figure out the mechanics, remember the timing and the choreography? I’ve always hated solos. I had to do it despite the fire pit in my gut and mind full of self doubt. But damn I surprised myself when my performance didn’t suck. In fact, it felt so liberating to get out of my head, into my body and surrender to the sensation of flight. To literally move through fear and prove the little voices in my head wrong.
But that was just pre-performance jitters. That’s to be expected.
My anxiety often feels unprovoked and unexpected. I’ve learned to coexist with it, though; even when it wants to dominate my day, weaken my motivation, and dampen my resilience. Dis chick don’t bow down. Because if I do, who will pick up the pieces of me? Who will fix the mess created by cowering in the corner as life creates a windstorm of everything I’ve done, created, and become thus far? Anxiety reminds me that I’m human and feel my emotions deeply. All of ’em. And I’m okay with that. It enhances my ability to tune into the energy around me and be more aware, compassionate and understanding of others. I’ve also noticed that the intensity of my anxiety dissipates when I fully absorb myself in something; like moving my body, creating something, indulging my senses or spilling my truth onto the page. I know that everyone experiences and manages anxiety differently, though. And if it ever feels unmanageable or unbearable for me, I’m no stranger to therapy. I will always lean into outside support when necessary.