WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ANXIETY?
For a lot of people, anxiety seems to be always there buzzing away in the background like an untuned radio, and then occasionally roaring more in the foreground when there is a particularly perfect storm.
For many years I had episodes of intense anxiety.
The very first time I was aware of its annoying characteristic of disproportionality (ie where its intensity bears no resemblance at all to the event or situation it attempts to describe) I was walking to my final ever Finals exam at University back in ‘99.
Even though it was going to be my most straightforward paper, and I had a full week off to prepare for it, during the long walk to the exam hall, this huge, mordant anxiety flared up in me, took me over, and I felt I had no control over it.
I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that I had this intensity of anxiety when the exam paper was going to be probably my easiest one.
But my rational and logical mind could do nothing to calm this neurochemical tempest.
I remember thinking I wish I knew how to deal with it.
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