Making Friends With Anxiety

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This page contains a comic about anxiety. It describes a little of my own experience, and one of the ways I've come to understand anxiety and how to deal with it. It may not be for everyone, but I hope it's useful to some - in understanding their own anxiety, someone else's, or most importantly, treating yourself with kindness and love.

Making Friends with Anxiety


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Author's Note...

This page has been a long time coming. I came up with the previous metaphor for anxiety 1-2 years ago. I've shared it with a few people, and this year (2016) when #BellLetsTalk popped up on my twitter feed, I thought - why not share? I knew I couldn't get it written up that day, but I made it a goal to post something in the next few days.

Apparently my brain really liked the idea, as I woke up in the middle of the night with my mind going to town with the idea. And as I was thinking about the right words and cadence, another idea popped into my head - "this would be more fun and memorable as a comic." I went on a short vacation to New York City in February 2016, and spent a good chunk of the trip outlining and drawing; I polished it off when I got home. (In case you're wondering: comics are. a lot. of work. But totally worth it!)

So here we are - my little blog post gone a little out of hand. In some ways, I've outgrown this metaphor - it strikes me now as a little too pat. But that's just a sign of growth (I hope) and moving on to the next thing. Expect the next comic in a year or two! :)

Acknowledgements

A big thanks to my comic enthusiast friends: Lydia, Katie, and Sandy. If they hadn't shared their love of comics/graphic novels with me, this comic definitely wouldn't exist! A roundabout hat-tip to Lynda Barry, whose One Hundred Demons opened my eyes to the power of comics to weave together the light and dark of our stories, and to spark our creativity (we also happen to work in the same building, some of the time). Dan Roam's book Blah Blah Blah: What to Do When Words Don't Work was also a subconscious inspiration of sorts.

And of course, thanks to the many friends, my family, and counselors who have walked alongside me, listened to me vent, whine, and provided supportive shoulders. In Will and Spirit Gerald May sums it up well: "At the outset, before anything else, 'I can do it' must be replaced by 'I cannot do it alone.'"