It may not feel like it. In fact, you probably feel the complete opposite. After all, your anxiety fatigues and frustrates you. It interferes with your perspective. Your decision-making. Your sense of well-being.
But every single time your anxiety has depleted and discouraged you, you have persevered. You have forced yourself to persist despite your brain telling you it’s too dangerous. You have trusted the pieces of yourself that inexplicably knew better, that somehow realized you’d be okay–even when your anxiety’s alarms have been too loud to hear, or even consciously think about, anything except what might harm you.
Somehow, you still believed in quiet, calm–no matter how impossible it felt to ever attain again. You didn’t succumb to the jumble of your thoughts, the horse race of your heart, the fragility of your breath. With faith, or determination, or maybe obstinance, you have defied what your anxiety has urged you to believe.
You wouldn’t be reading this right now if that weren’t true.
You win battles–almost always without anyone to catch you as you collapse afterward, or applaud you on your triumph. Your willpower is historical, and you don’t even realize it. You’re too exhausted and dejected to understand that you regularly perform miracles. How else can you explain the fact that, despite every endangering moment you’ve prepared to face, you’re still here?
I know, especially when it’s at its worst, that anxiety can make you feel like all is lost. Trust, control, confidence, security, hope, discernment: they all feel like they will never again be yours. But even while they feel forever out of reach, please believe me when I tell you that your anxiety has also granted you gifts.
Your anxiety has given you the opportunity to develop a tenacity so ingrained within you that you overlook it. An empathy for others who endure struggles no one else may ever see. A sensitivity to each day’s unexpected changes. An appreciation for the fragility of life.
Although it may seem as though your anxiety has made you frail, I promise you: you have become more determined, and patient, and compassionate, because of the trials you consistently, and resolutely, face.
You prevail. Overcome. Thrive.
Don’t ever forget that. Your anxiety wants you to believe you can’t, and won’t, keep going. But your anxiety is also exactly the reason you should know that you can, and will.
Every single time.