Anxiety, is universally known as a fear of the future. Whether it be a certain event in your life coming up, or just the fear of how you are going to be perceived in a certain situation.
However, when I look into my mind in my most anxious situations, I am never scared of an upcoming event. Actually, it really does take a lot to scare me, but there is definitely one thing that makes me terrified beyond belief. What’s that? Being normal.
That’s the founding root of my anxiety. Not social pressures, not how people perceive me, not some upcoming events that could change my future, but the fear of just fucking being like everyone else.
I don’t know why this is so, but it just is. Perhaps it’s the way I’m wired, perhaps it’s something different.
Put it like this: the universe has been around for 13+billion years; there are billions of stars in a galaxy; there are billions upon billions of galaxies. The universe will live on for trillions of years, long after we are dead. So here’s my proposal: if you are going to be ‘normal’ and just ‘fit’ in, for (lets say) the 80 years you are alive, then you are deeming your own life to be completely insignificant, because in essence, 80 years within the lifespan of the universe isn’t even a blink of an eye.
If you’re not finding something you love, doing something different than everybody else, chasing your dreams and being unique, then what is the point of you being here?
That’s what I’m so terrified of. That’s what keeps me up at night. That’s why I’m always dreaming these big dreams, always learning, always thinking, always trying to the best I can be; all because if I don’t, I’m utterly terrified that my life will mean nothing. That I’ll be normal.
In this instance, just to make everything clear, I am defining normality as being overtly similar to the large majority of society (whatever society you subside within).
Why am I saying all this? Because it’s just an example as to one other way mental health can royally fuck you up. When the doctors say you are fearing the future, that may not be true.
Everyone has their reasons for being the way that they are, and not all of us can help it. All we can do is identify what’s troubling us, and work our hardest to make sure we can beat our demons in the long run.
What are your biggest fears?
Great post lots of truth.
I think about the good things I see , thoughtful post
I can certainly relate to the fear of living a “normal” life. Of missed opportunities.
I’m learning, though, to lean into the life I have. Because I AM unique – there is no “normal” – and I’ve made choices in my life that were born directly out of my individuality. I guess what I’m saying is, somewhere along the way, I stopped trying so hard. The right medicine, a good therapist, some creative outlets – all of these have helped me lean into the life I have already built. Because it is already extraordinary.
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When I think of some of my greatest anxiety eras, it was trying to fit in with whichever crowd (or family) I was with. That makes for some interesting scars.
Now I’m more anxious about practical things – I think. Will we have to move (again)? When? Will it be to provide care for my mother? But I think those are a hell of a lot more realistic than “What if so and so makes fun of me or doesn’t like me? What if I gain weight?
I still have anxiety, but I’m a damned sight more comfortable with it now than I was when I was trying to be “normal”.
I think anxiety and fear are outcrops of growing up in a society where the rules change , where common sense is not longer appreciated, and where every fabric of our lives are being changed. Children, naturally, want to grow up in a loving family with two parents and who set the ground rules running. Children, naturally, need those same parents to be parents, love them, but also punish and correct when necessary. And when they are educated, those same, time-honored values should be supported, teachers playing the role of responsible adults who educate with understanding. that’s how I grew up and it was still difficult. Children should never backtalk their teachers. If there is a question of necessity, that is for the parents to set up an appointment and discuss after school.
Today, we have channels galore and our values are constantly being challenged. We have the internet and youtube, constant distractions from the norm of everyday life. Video games, but not playing outdoors where we learn to cooperate with our friends, getting exercise and learning about others. With parents trying to be their children’s best friends, not correcting; with children not learning about real consequences in too many institutions, with the breakdown of the family unit, it’s no wonder young people grow up confused, not knowing where they belong, not having a stable identity. It’s no wonder, without clear boundaries, why so many suffer.
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