Recently I heard anxiety expressed as the dizziness of freedom.
Freedom is often sought after and highly regarded as a positive thing, especially in Western societies, so this position baffled me a bit until it was further expounded upon. When one is presented with an endless myriad of options one begins to find themselves moved to feelings of dread to decide on anything out of fear of a road not taken. This dread then turns itself into anxiety and thus anxiety is a symptom of freedom. When peered at through that perspective anxiety is a luxury and a vanity of maladies one can complain about. (Theory, not fact.)
When I heard this I had a hard time letting the thought pass through my mind without first sinking my teeth and claws into it. I turned it over and, true to my tendencies to be prone to dig for morbid insights into the world and self, tried to apply it to my own life.
My poor mother must have banged her head on a wall a million times throughout my life in an attempt to help direct me to feelings of peace after making any major decision in my life. I dwell to the point of being incapable of enjoying blessings over wonderment of what the road not taken might have had to offer. I’d love to say this was a consequence of some intelligence to make myself look burdened by genius, but the truth of the matter is I have been this way since childhood – before even knowing how to tie my own shoes or wipe my own ass. I’ve been predisposed to indecisiveness muddled with impulsive tendencies since I was a wee lass; a strange cocktail of contradicting personality traits that all too often knocks others on their ass wasted.
It wasn’t until last night though I realized how much of a hindrance this particular type of anxiety is for some folks. Some don’t seem plagued with the fear of making the wrong choice, but others, such as myself, feel a deep sense of fear when making any type of commitment – large or small. Fear is really a little bitch, if you ask me, and yet it really does dictate much of societies patterns and behaviours. It is stunning, really, when you consider what an individual might do out of fear of compromising whatever status they hold – most of the time though what this fear does is keep an individual passive.
I don’t think anxiety is real. I don’t think anyone is born anxious. It isn’t like being born prone to periods of melancholy or paranoia, anxiety is a cultivated and harvested mental instability when ones personal moral code and desires are out of line with what they are taught and they attempt to realign those in an appealing manner.
I do not think that anyone truly desires absolute freedom otherwise we wouldn’t attach ourselves to anything. Humans crave accountability and approval. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, it’s just how the species has evolved.
My anxieties are of loss. I don’t want to miss out on a single thing in life. I desire to live loud.
This desire keeps me passive because any wrong decision could, ultimately, be the wrong one and screw things up.
Isn’t that just hilarious? Absolutely fucking stupid.