After taking a short break from writing to focus on my mental health, my friends/family and my career I’m back with a new volume of The Anxiety Diaries…well sort of. I was introduced to a fellow writer and what is the first thing I wanted to do? COLLAB. Chelsea Gallagher is a globetrotting writer and sweetheart. She is a fellow fighter of anxiety and I was so excited to have her create a post for one of my favourite segments.
Here is what she had to say:
As someone living with anxiety, I’m always curious to know what other people have flash before them on repeat. Uncontrollable images of my imminent failure or ruthless cut from friend groups. I call it my film reel, and it plays sporadically and daily. It’s on an unknown schedule, similar to the negative voices and panic attacks. It’s a movie theatre I have never bought a ticket for, and yet I’m VIP. It’s also the only time when I can’t snack and feel so sick to my stomach, sweat and tears follow.
Viewings occur while waiting for a bus an hour early, suddenly a black and white picture of you never reaching your destination, all in cahoots with your brain yelling at you its not coming; or when you brush your teeth and are unable to meet your reflection. Sometimes, I’ll think if I don’t maintain eye contact with myself maybe I can be gentle, as if the person on the other side of the glass needs more love than the physical body you own. It can happen when you least expect it and have felt mentally strong all day. It can convince you new friends or network opportunities are the worst idea and if you go to meet anyone surely the building will explode upon your arrival. A steady image roll of you tripping off the path to your own demise while hiking with friends and enjoying the outdoors . Popular or not, when laying in bed exhausted, the mental projectionist decides to replay everything about your last relationship that you ignored.
How do we silence the click of the tape being threaded or bear witness to what we know now we’re learning moments and pivots of self-growth? A lot of my own solutions come from changing the images to a positive outcome or immediately telling a close friend and receiving reassurance. In a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert,( side note she is everything awesome- learn more #wcw) she talks about allowing fear to ride in the backseat while she and creativity sit up front. It’s a profound small change that puts you in the driver seat of your own weakness.
Let us know what’s on your reel for a quick dose of reassurance and share in the comments below how you’re taking back your confidence.