It’s been a long time since I accepted my brain and all it’s quirks. After years of therapy, my therapist helped me realize that I need to challenge my brain’s anxious thoughts and tell them they are wrong. She used to say to me, “FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real” and that’s something I have taken with me into expat life. With her tools (and proper medication), I’ve been able to conquer some awesome things while living abroad; traveling alone, living in a new culture, meeting new people, making new friends, becoming a freelancer and seeing so many places I never thought I would.
But 2020 and the VWSNBN has given me one of the biggest challenges to my anxiety. I’m sure everyone in the world is basically feeling some sort of anxiety towards this. I know many are fearing for older or immunocompromised loved ones, for their financial stability or just for their community in general. I have found that while that all makes me a little worried, it’s the general giant unknown that is getting to me. I hate the unknown and I really like to have a back up plan whenever I embark on something that gives me anxiety. So the fact that we don’t have any idea what’s really going on and how long any of this will last is giving my anxiety a run for it’s money.
Intellectually I know that this won’t last forever. But my anxiety asks but what if it does? Even as I write the sentence “I know this won’t last forever” my brain creates fictional people reading this blog saying “it will last forever. This is the new normal. The world is ending.” I hate it. I hate anxiety and I hate what it does to my life. And if I’m feeling like this, I know there are others who do too. Mental stability is being rocked for many in this time. The media and constant discussion isn’t helping those with the soundest of minds, so for those of us who suffer from things like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, this is an especially challenging time.
So my advice of the day would be to think wisely about your friends with mental health issues. Reach out to them to see if they want or need anything. Talk about ANYTHING else but the VWSNBN. If they are anything like me, they will be grateful for the respite. I challenge you to have a conversation without the use of words like, “foreseeable future,” “quarantine,” “isolation,” “canceling,” “postponed,” and of course the dreaded word itself.
Love from the farm. ❤ Sam