Anxiety sucks. It sneaks up on you. It spirals out of control. It’s the one little thing in the morning that tries (and often succeeds) to eat up the rest of the day. It is the thing that causes you to believe that everyone cares about the insignificant things that you have messed up. It’s a bizarre dichotomy, simultaneously believing that no-one really cares about you and believing that they are picking apart every little thing that you have done and interpreted it in the worst possible way.
Anxiety is what strips away your ability to focus in a workshop that you have been looking forward to for weeks. It gives you a brain fog which it weaponizes to call you names like “Stupid” and “Fraud” and tells you that you don’t have any right to be sitting in a room among your peers.
Anxiety sucks. But it is not all powerful. Anxiety can be calmed by trusting the people who tell you that you are allowed to be where you are. That it’s okay not to know everything. That it’s okay to breathe. It can be calmed by being brave and trusting the community that has welcomed you.
Right now, I am sitting in “Sass to the reCSSue” at WordCamp Cape Town 2017 and I am not going to let anxiety win. My battle cry is pushing publish and giving myself the time to reset my day.