I am very good at listing off personal identifiers, aspects of my identity that I strongly connect to. I realize, though, that I have a negative or neutral relationships with most of the things that I list. Most days, if asked, “someone who suffers from anxiety” would top the list.
This isn’t the case in the moments when I am out of my own mind: helping others, planning something new, cooking, reading something I care about, listening to someone else’s life, understanding new things, etc.
Last night, I was helping my S.O. with flashcards for some material she is hoping to learn. I was making up tricks to memorizing the real estate terms she would be tested on, and I felt strangely alive. My mind was working, thinking creatively, applying itself to a real and concrete problem that I wanted to solve.
Maybe the problem isn’t my anxiety or whatever else I could identify abstractly. Maybe the problem is that, in the moments where I define myself that way, I don’t try to find moments to bring my mind to life. My brain is working overtime trying to function, so my mind sits aside, watching, wishing, and then falling asleep. Maybe I just need to be more aware of this in daily moments, both good and bad.