We tend to think of anxiety and depression as indicators that something’s wrong with us, but what if that wasn’t the full story? What if it wasn’t even half the story? Have we been buying into the wrong narrative all these years?
Here's an idea...
Anxiety and depression may actually be indications that you’re functioning RIGHT!
What a concept! It sounds crazy, doesn’t it!? But what do you suppose is alerting you to the possibility that something is wrong in the first place? What do think is alerting you to potential danger, or the need to shake things up in your life?
Now imagine if you were disconnected from these abilities. Imagine being disconnected from your body in such a way that you didn't notice when you were feeling the effects of stress, or getting in over your head. Sadly, this is the case for many people. We're conditioned to ignore it, or told to persevere and push through. Or how about this one, the expectation to prioritize work over health. That one makes me cringe.
Have you ever known someone who finally took a vacation and then got incredibly sick!? Shoot, I’m sure that’s even happened to me.
Now I’m not gonna tell you to run out and start practicing meditation, or check-in with yourself and all these things that you probably already know are good to do. But I do want you to consider that anxiety and depression may not necessarily be the ***holes you’ve come to dread.
When we subscribe to the belief that something’s wrong with us, what we’re essentially doing is doubling-down on the problem. Our distress then becomes two-fold; first in the way we react to the problem, and secondly, in the way we react to our reaction. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot and getting pissed off you’re bleeding. Okay, maybe that’s not the most relatable analogy, but I think you all get what I’m saying.
Please be easy on yourself. And know that there’s a difference between something being wrong with you, and something being wrong with the situation you’re in.
Ari Shapero MSW, RSW
In tune counselling
Ari Shapero MSW, RSW
Social Worker/Clinical Therapist
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