It should have been A for Anxiety as opposed to A for Apple. The apple tree may go extinct in a hundred years from now. Anxiety on the other hand, is a friend who will live long and grow strong, walk side by side, along my every stride. I was anxious as I registered for this challenge. Fun as it sounded, I was anxious to be a part of it. Not excited, anxious wondering if I’d have the time to write an article every day for the rest of the month. Anxious trying to choose topics for each letter in the alphabet. And that’s just a tiny part of the whole picture.

We move so fast in the world today, anxious to get to the next destination. We forget to stop and take a deep breath, while we enjoy where we stand, the view from this spot, from as far as we have come. Sometimes, a voice in my head says it’s alright to stay here and not move ahead. I don’t know if you hear it too. I choose to stay, even if it is for a short while. But then again, the whole frenzy of the race sweeps me in its fervor, and I’m back in the game with anxiety by my side, heart racing as I forge through the hurdles at every step.

It’s like I wrote before in an article about when I was a Baby, we have been in a race anxious to win, not knowing if that’s the end game, since before we were conceived. We have been told to be like others, when to walk, when to talk, what is acceptable and what is not. Those ideals have of course been the catalysts for anxiety to dig deeper roots within us. Is it genetics or is it a part of consciousness (the invisible soul perhaps), which is passed down through generations or incarnation maybe? I will never know. All I do remember is a throbbing vein around my brain, a tightening feeling in my chest, a pit in my stomach and gasping for breath, at the thought of a cab ride or being stereotyped.

I’m not rambling, I do have a point to make. Anxiety is the cause of numerous health issues in the world today. It affects the mind, and is often ignored. Anxiety disorders affects a majority of the world population, sometimes being the sole cause for strokes. Yet somehow, depression, anxiety and other common issues are treated as taboos or imaginary illnesses that are brought on by the victims themselves. It is impossible to fight off anxiety with a forced smile or “Cheer up buddy! It’s all in your head.” For it is not in the head. Anxiety is in you, me, and every passerby.

Stress brings it on, and stress affects even inanimate objects. They just react differently. Consider this, place a rock with jagged ends under a waterfall. Place a potted plant next to it. Now stand next the potted plant. The rock isn’t really affected. The plant if it is big, may be able to withstand this physical stress for a while, but eventually the stems do break. As for you, are you able to take the force? Why don’t you ask a few friends to stand alongside you to see if they can take the stress? Visit the place a few weeks later and take a look at the rock. You will see slighted smoothened edges. Pebbles on river banks weren’t always smooth and round. So you see, your test subjects reacted differently. The plant succumbed, you stood strong, while the rock adapted. It is unfortunate that many people don’t give the same chance to people with anxiety disorders. They are one of us, but react like the rock or plant. All they need is a hand to stay strong.

A for Anxiety. It is not a taboo. It is not shameful. It is an emotion. It can get bigger than you sometimes. But don’t be worried, anyone who knows the alphabet would be around to have your back.

This article was written for A to Z Blog Challenge.