“Just as anxiety can feed on itself, so can courage.” ― John J. Ratey

I read this quote some time ago and have ruminated on it for a while now. Sometimes, you just need to let those words marinate in your brain for a bit. I think a big part of my finding this statement so impactful is how true it rings for me.

My anxiety has been with me for so many years. Looking backward, I can now see where it played a role in my childhood and in many ways, molded me throughout the years. I don’t think anxiety is too selective with whom it chooses to coach, and if life were only a game with rules and boundaries, anxiety’s team is on the same field but playing an entirely different game.

Perhaps an analogy more befitting the quote would be this. You’re standing before the shittiest buffet you’ve ever seen in your life, yet you hear others beeming about how wonderful the selection is. You follow one of them, choose the same scoop of pasta salad, and while initially good, around the 4th bite it doesn’t feel right so you move on to try something else. The buffet still presents itself as something akin to a flaming pile of garbage surrounded by serving spoons, but you’re hungry for more because you want to have as magical an experience as everyone else, so you choose a different pail.

This process repeats itself, over and over until you’ve exhausted all the food choices, feel sick now, and vomit. After vomiting though, you return to your original state; still hungry yet oddly satiated at the same time.

Every time you try to take a bite out of life and can’t seem to find a way to enjoy it, you stop. It all winds up bad, you’re still hungry, and your anxiety is already asleep on the chair, Thanksgiving day fat, sleeping it off until round 2…desserts!

As for courage, it’s the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices that you take with you to each buffet and with a little sprinkle, you’re 10 year old Halloween night candy happy. Just don’t over do it though. Too much secret blend sprinkled candy and you’ll vomit just the same.

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