It’s Thanksgiving 2020. I’m chilling at my in-laws house for a few days while I’m off work. Here I spend 99% of my time on a sofa that I seem to be magnetically attracted to. This is the place and time where checking my Instagram doesn’t feel like a crime. The posts are the same as usual. Some wow me. Some fill me with envy. Some fill me with wanderlust. Some annoy me. Some drive me crazy. But today they hit different.
I stepped into my first adult job wide eyed and bushy tailed. I made friends, I found love and got married, too. The problem was that every step in my life was accompanied by intrusive thoughts that started as a nag and became more and more overwhelming with time.
Note taking is a part of normal life. It can be done in a healthy manner. For me it started that way and devolved into a deluge of intrusive thoughts that overwhelmed me and interfered tremendously with my ability to live in the moment.
One of the defining experiences in my life so far is my struggle with obsessive compulsive note taking. A few years ago at a relative nadir in my life I decided I’d reach out to someone to do something about it. I ended up on a very positive trajectory. That moment years ago was a great decision that I talk about elsewhere, but isn’t the subject of what I want to talk about here.
I’ve observed our society becoming more conscious of anxiety in the world. Anxiety is starting to take hold as something that people accept as just a part of normal daily life, something that people can talk about more openly. Let’s leave the concept of “normal” here, too. Everyone’s life experience is different. I won’t (or at least I don’t intend to) speak in terms of platitudes that broadly apply to everyone, but rather I will relay my personal experience with anxiety, how I overcame it and how I manage it. Hopefully you’ll take away a few things that I learned the hard way.