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Just an Ordinary Man with Anxiety – Part 2

Anxiety has made my life pretty miserable as it did with so many others. It also got me thinking about life. One of the questions was why me. I wondered why I had to encounter the failures in my life while all the other people around me seem to be doing just fine. 

As I mentioned in the last post, I attend university. Like so many other young people, I was eager and thought university would be the next logical step in my life. When things stopped going according to plan, I got anxious. After all, I thought I had the “ideal plan” and everything would go quite well. Sure, I expected a few stumbles along the way but nothing compared to what I experienced. 

The failures and the inability to right the ship was causing me anxiety. It was only natural since I wasn’t ready for this. Nothing in life prepared me for what was to happen. I looked around me and saw the other students who were getting through school with relative ease while I was struggling to pass some courses. I watched in envy as they had everything going according to their plans. I wondered why life decided to mess with mine.

Many people think anxiety is meant to make us suffer. I believe it’s more than that. It’s teaching us lessons, mostly life lessons, that we need to get somewhere in life. I guess that’s why life picked me in this scenario. I wasn’t supposed to suffer and hate life. I was merely treading on the wrong path, a path set out by my parents and society and not by me. A path I would later learn that couldn’t provide me happiness and fulfillment, two things people want the most in their lives. 

What is happiness and fulfillment? I’ll talk about that in a future entry. For now, I want to explain what I meant by lessons. We all heard the saying that experience is our best teacher. That couldn’t be any truer. After all, we don’t learn best from books or listening to teachers. We learn best by doing things and learning that way. How many of us learned to ride a bike by reading a book? I’m pretty sure all of us got on a bike and, after a few falls, learned and eventually mastered. 

What’s the significance of failures? Like so many others who attended high school, I was taught that mistakes are bad. The exams we take punishes mistakes so, from a young age, we were told to be right most, if not all, of the time and never make mistakes. After all, most of us are afraid to raise our hands to answer a question because we are afraid of being wrong. That mentality doesn’t work in the real world where mistakes are unavoidable. Sometimes, we need mistakes to learn how to improve since nobody else has the answers to the problem. 

Ironically, it took many failures to make me recognize the importance of mistakes. We all know that, when we are succeeding and everything is going according to plan, we don’t contemplate about our approach. We are used to the, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it mentality. That’s why I’d never realize my errors had the failures not happen to me. To be honest, I’m grateful to have these failures this early on. I cannot imagine having to learn these lessons later on when there’s more at stake. I might have a family and kids, things that make me less flexible in introducing necessary changes in my life. 

For those suffering anxiety or depression and wonder why you’re picked, I don’t have the answer for you. We are all unique and each have incredible potential for great things. Yet, we cannot tap into the potential if we aren’t tougher mentally. We cannot be like everyone else and accept mediocrity. When we overcome anxiety/depression, there’s really very few things we couldn’t overcome in life. When you ask yourself why me, remember that this is merely the way life hints at greatness within you and the old you just isn’t ready for it. 

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Written by dwaan

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