“Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Several years ago, my anxiety disorder was at its worst while I was working at Starbucks as a barista. The fears, the questions, the constant panic, and the insecurities were eating me alive. So, what did I do? I built barriers, desperate to keep my anxiety out of my head. I started avoiding everything that once mattered, but was full of too much uncertainty. Too afraid to drive to see some friends? I’d lie and make up some excuse. Afraid that I’d do something wrong on the job? I’d avoid the task and ask for it to be reassigned to someone else. I was brilliant at avoiding that thing we humans like to call “living”.
I was doing everything I could to remove the anxiety, but I was also throwing away my life.
Maybe you are like that version of me from a few years ago. You have a disorder or a battle that wages war within you, so you’ve been in hiding, playing it safe, and staying at home plate without running the bases. I get it…Moving forward when you’re fighting a disorder can be incredibly difficult.
I’ve gotten much better and I’m living my life, even with the uncertainties that may come with it. Do I still fight my anxiety disorder? Yes. Has it inhibited me from living my life for more than just existence? No.
Why do our dysfunctions not have the right to determine our future? Simple. We aren’t our dysfunctions; our dysfunctions are just our battle. We choose who we become, not our battles.
Believe it or not, you are not trapped by your disorder. The brokenness in your life doesn’t own you. Sure, it may be harder for you than your friends to make decisions to move forward in your life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t move forward. You can. Life is about living, it’s not about merely existing.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – John Pierpont