I don’t suffer from an anxiety disorder, but like all of us, there are situations that leave me feeling anxious. I can identify that feeling and its causes rationally. I can confront the thoughts, fears, or worries behind that anxiety at their deepest and most honest level. And that really is not always easy.

But I still can’t make the feeling stop. It’ll pass eventually. Usually thanks to some distraction or another, which might be a light-hearted comedy or simply work. Music or a walk can help as well.

Sometimes, when it feels most urgent, I sit and breathe. I’m just trying to let go of the feeling, the thoughts that caused it, the fears underneath it all.

And I tell myself these things:

I am okay. (Repeatedly)

I am here now.

I’m not in the past. And not in the future.

I am only here now.

Everything will be alright.

I’m here in this moment, which is all I have and nothing else matters.

I keep breathing. And repeating these things as a sort of mantra as much as necessary. It doesn’t really help with how I feel, but it stops my thoughts from running away, which is helpful.

What is important is that I look inside not outside. I can’t change how someone treats me, talks to me, or ignores me when I would hope for something different. I have very little influence on the outside world, especially beyond my immediate surroundings.

I can only look inside and figure out what is going on there. Thankfully, I do know myself very well and opt for complete honesty. Admittedly, there are times I’d rather lie to myself as it would just be easier. But easy doesn’t help.

Sometimes it would be nice to receive assurance and/or clarity from an outside source. Sometimes friends can provide that. But I try not to be reliant on that because friends can’t always be there.

Nobody said caring for ourselves would be easy. And I cannot imagine just how difficult it might be for someone suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Everything is now

Originally published on the 27th October 2019

We live in constant distraction. I’ve written about this before, but I’ve been guilty of it too much lately and I’m at a point where I need to focus on the only thing we have:


We never just sit in silence and let our thoughts roam. We never allow our thoughts to simply flow, to follow them wherever they may lead.

Instead, we binge on Netflix, watch random shows on TV mindlessly, read the news without digesting them, listen to music in a constant stream, play games on our smartphone or PlayStations. Anything to escape our minds.

We dwell too much on the past and worry too much about the future. But everything we have is now and that is what we keep forgetting with every second that passes.

It is the only thing that belongs to us, where we are at home, where we are present. And the Now is so fleeting that we cannot truly lay claim to it. Before we know it has arrived it is gone again.

Sometimes we just need to be. It should be okay to sit in silence and not seek escape.

For the past few months, I’ve been doing all of the above too much as well. The television provides constant background noise. Or I put on my headphones and dance through my apartment, cleaning, tidying and dusting along, distracting myself from whatever it could be that would gnaw at me if I were to stop and be still for a moment.

No more.

I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s like some sort of addiction, this constant distraction. I don’t need to check my phone every five minutes. I don’t need to update the news app every hour. The TV does not need to be on all the time.

I have the feeling that I am looking for something without knowing what it is I am looking for. There’s a longing I can’t quell. I try to leave the past behind, but it keeps clinging to me. I can’t shake it off.

I’m looking to the future, making appointments, planning my month ahead, looking forward to this, dreading that, procrastinating over yet something else.

But it is all so pointless.

It is pointless when I forget that I am here now. I can worry about something that might happen the day after tomorrow. But to what end? It ruins my Now. It gives me anxiety and it makes me restless. I have a knot in my stomach, and I can’t eat.

In this very moment, however, there is nothing to worry about. I am at home. It is warm. Candles and a few other lights give off a gentle glow. I’m perfectly safe. I could be perfectly happy. I am not incomplete.

There is a pain in my heart I can’t quite shake off. But it’s okay. I’m breathing. There’s peace to be found in the love that is also still in my heart. I’m alone. And I’m not.

Now is good.

It is all I have and whilst I am not sharing this moment with somebody close to me. I am sharing it with you, whoever you may be.