When did your anxiety really start? I’ve said ‘beginning of this year, things just got worse…’. I’ve said, ‘the year I turned 15 was difficult, I had wisdom tooth surgery and after I stopped the codeine pills, everything became too much’.
I’ve said many things and I’ve been talking, really, about the symptoms and not the cause. A short talk with my grandfather, for example, reveals that the signs were there much earlier. Procrastination for example, which I now realize was an early example of avoidance on my part.
But why, but why? As I write I don’t really know if I’m brave enough to say, and although I’ve known for a while the gist of it, it came to me today, the exact mechanism by which my guilt drives my anxiety, and drives the pattern of avoiding seemingly dangerous things that gives anxiety its strength.
When I was very young, an adult in my life tried very hard to help me reach my potential in terms of traditional accomplishment. Would my life be on a path of awards for academic excellence, of early entry to school, of discipline? This is what this presence wanted very hard to me. Like many people who have a child, they saw the unique spark in that child and believed it was important to do everything in their power to make it grow.
Which is where things went ever so slightly off the rails already, because no one ever can, nor ever will, make another human being’s spark brighter. The spark within us is already infinitely bright, already beyond all of our wildest imaginations. The only thing a person can do for another is to let them shine.
I think this is all I will say about this matter for now.
To my loved ones, if ever you come across this, I just want you to know that I am grateful for all the blessings you have provided me. Any mention of my early years is only meant to help myself and others with anxiety heal, not to hurt anybody.
I want to finish with this quote that a friend showed me today.
“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”
I hope we all find that which is gold within ourselves.