Fuck coping.

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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.

There isn’t.

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.

Love

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3 Comments on “Fuck coping.

  1. “On the right path.” There is a fear to saying that there is a cure because so many of us don’t find it. And this post makes it known that you don’t think everyone will find a cure. But you do stand up for trying and for being bold in the things you believe in. For those of us with crippling anxiety, that’s a struggle and you’re an example. Thanks.

  2. This post is really inspiring for me. While my anxiety isn’t as crippling as what you describe here, I am an introvert who gets absolutely terrified at the prospect of going to a party or gathering where I don’t know people. But like you, I’ve found my salvation from this frustrating social anxiety in the form of play!

    My friends and I actually designed a card game that helps introverts (and extroverts!) bond at social gatherings. We haven’t really marketed it as a crutch for socially anxious people, but I use it that way all the time! It’s helped me thrive at parties and networking events that I would normally be terrified of. Originally inspired by truth or dare, it’s filled with improv mini-games, and fun questions that range from hilarious and hypothetical to thoughtfully personal.

    Give it a look on our Kickstarter page (http://kck.st/27aJ8sW), and if you’re interested, I’d be more than happy to send you a copy to review!

    • Sorry James, realize I have to approve these comments before they officially post. Hopefully it’s not too late to help the kickstarter.

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