I remember when that article came out last year being scared of the word cure. There’s such a promise in that word. A finality. Like you’ll never feel nervous again. I mean, I still get a touch nervous every once in a while. But not often. I used to feel anxious all the time. An ongoing sense of unease. Not anymore. But am I cured?
During a recent TV interview about improv helping with anxiety, the reporter asked/told me, “But you’re not saying this is a cure, it’s just another thing you can do as therapy. It’s a way to cope.”
I hate the word cope. Coping. Barf.
My dad lived his whole life coping with anxiety. And he felt shitty for a lot of his life. He coped. It never really took over his life and crippled him. It just clouded his life.
So I said, “I’m cured.” I got to enjoy the shocked look on his face. I knew they wouldn’t be using that footage.
When I watched the edited newslink that night, he talked about how “While it may not be a cure, it’ll help you cope.”
I’m not saying it is the cure. I’m not saying I know the cure. I’m saying there is a cure. How do I know? How am I so certain? Because I’m cured.
I want to stop avoiding the word cure. Getting over anxiety is not impossible. I know that because I’m not anxious anymore. And it’s not cause I was never really anxious, or not anxious like people who are really anxious. I was fucking lock myself inside my house and throw up at even the thought of leaving the house anxious. And now I’m fucking cured. I’m not anxious. I don’t define myself as anxious. I’m not anxious in situations where I used to feel anxious.
I’m a stroll in an improv workshop for the media without a curriculum, not knowing how many people are going to be there, not knowing how many reporters and cameras are going to be there, and not feel nervous or worry one tiny bit about it kind of guy. I’m cured.
It’s not how you’re wired. You don’t need “some nervousness” before hitting the stage. There is no benefit to stress.
Thinking that you’re never going to change and that you’ll always be anxious might help you cope.
But coping implies there’s something wrong with you.
You may not like your anxious thoughts. And your emotions may overwhelm you sometimes. Or all the time. But underneath those thoughts and emotions is you. And you’re fucking perfect and beautiful and wonderful as you are.
I don’t know what your cure is. But if you follow love, do things you love, focus on things you enjoy, focus on the good, you’ll be on the right path.
Knowing that you’re wonderful the way you are and accepting and loving yourself and not needing to change means you never have to cope.
Don’t cope. Enjoy being you. Enjoy being.