I should just call this post Anxiety for the Anxious, honestly.

During my terribly exciting trip to the ER a month ago, the doctor asked if I was feeling anxious about anything. My reply was yes– I’m feeling anxious about what’s happening to me right now! Hyperventilating, shaking uncontrollably… Who wouldn’t feel anxious? Dumb question.

And then I tried to go back to life as it was, and found that not exactly possible. Or easy. Everything seemed to set off an anxiety attack: normal, everyday actions and events suddenly seemed overwhelming. When you are experiencing this kind of anxiety, everything is dangerous.

It’s hard to be in this world and not be scared, considering the amount of hate and spite that runs rampant around us. It’s also really hard to be happy when you are afraid of everything.

A particular quote from an Arthur Miller play keeps popping into my head: in “All My Sons”the son asks the father, “Don’t you live in the world?”

Different context, obviously, but my answer to this question is always ambiguous in my head. Part of trying to live in this world involves a certain amount of denial about what it really means to be human. There is also the need to know things, and knowing things is hard. And knowing things and seeing things and experiencing things brings anxiety.

So I guess if anyone ever asks me if I live in the world, my answer will be ‘sometimes.’ And always with a certain amount of help.

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