Over the last few months, I’ve had a lot of time to think about many things, one being anxiety and why I seem to have rather a lot of it.
Alongside the usual reasoning – it’s a habit practised since childhood, it’s what my body remembers even if my mind doesn’t, it’s a chemical imbalance, it’s a natural side-effect of being an introvert in an extroverted line of work – a new thought has appeared…
A thought that maybe I’m anxious, because I’m in the wrong briar patch.
In case you aren’t aware, the latter is a reference to a story told by Brené Brown. Brené tells of a conversation with her therapist, in which she describes feeling like a turtle without a shell, getting poked and jabbed by the cruel surroundings of the briar patch she lives in. A woman in pain, she pleads for something to ‘take the edge off,’ bemoaning the fact that her sober, sugar-free life doesn’t offer any real sense of relief.
Of course, she doesn’t get that. Instead, her therapist suggests looking at the briar patch that she’s choosing to live in and considering either a different place to live, or a different way of living – one that doesn’t require such a heavy shell.
This is what I’m thinking about, a lot.
Both in terms of where my briar patch is and how I choose to live in it.
For one, I know that as much as I love the learning and independence involved in running a business… and the creativity and connection that comes through teaching wellbeing, it’s a really uncomfortable briar patch sometimes. Even when my mindset is at its strongest and most positive, it takes an awful lot of energy and effort for me to survive in this environment.
Writing, on the other hand, feels effortless. It doesn’t take energy, it provides it. And the more I’ve paid attention to this, the more I’ve come to know that I am a writer. As a shoe is created to be worn and my purpose is to write.
I’m a writer who barely writers. A writer who de-prioritises writing below everything else. A writer who procrastinates by any means necessary, because she is afraid that what she does write won’t be good enough and it’s easier to fail at things that don’t matter so much.
Maybe anxiety is a completely natural response to this particular way of living. Or rather, not living.
Maybe if I dedicate more of my day to writing, my briar patch might become a little more easy to live in.
Maybe if I’m kinder to myself, more patient, more willing to just try, I’ll find my briar patch easier to live in. No matter where it is.
It’s something I’ll be working on, anyhow.