The Cure for an Anxious, Sucky Life, in Less Than 550 Words

You feel miserable. Life is hard. Everyone sucks.

Nobody pays attention to you. Nobody respects you enough.

You feel low. You’re depressed.

Your anxiety is surging.

You try all the cures.

They tell you to take pills. You take them, but they only add a layer of ointment on top of your deeper ‘problems.’ Ultimately they make you feel even worse with all those side-effects.

Sally recommends a great therapist. So they analyse your past. And all that shame is stirred up again. What your mother said to you to make you feel small. What Jerry at school said about you, which really hurt. The obsession with yourself grows.

You feel a little better because you’ve spoken about it. It’s off your chest. But it’s on your mind even more now.

You spend your mornings sitting in the lotus position for hours, hoping something shifts in your brain to empty out your hurts. It kind of works I suppose.

Forty years go by, and you’re still looking for that damn cure. Shouldn’t they be working by now?

Poor you.

Out of the blue comes an epiphany.

Maybe it’s not only about you. Perhaps the only cure is to stop trying to find a ‘cure.’

You try something a little different than is normal for you.Actually, you’ve done it before, and you’d noticed that you felt better doing it, but you didn’t think to keep doing it often.

So you go and make someone else happy. You write that letter. You help others get better. You write something from your soul, and you hit send.

You make the first move for a change.

You make little Jacob the Grump smile.

You improve someone else’s life without asking for anything in return.

You notice that something is crackling inside you again.

You feel it. No, it’s not this morning’s breakfast.

You’re changing. In a good way. Your spirit is revealing itself again.

And with that comes a particular pride. A certain unashamedness.

And you begin to see yourself as worthy — as a leader.

You even feel it in the way you walk. You’re no longer the hunched monkey you were.

Your self-image improves, and you take better care of yourself.

You begin to see how you are more connected to others than you ever knew.

The compass you have with you on this adventure is shifting. It now points to becoming better for the people that matter, not just for yourself, and certainly not for those people who only want to bring others down.

Your attention is no longer solely on you. It is also on that person; those people that are significant to you.

It is on both of you.

Maybe this idea of ‘purpose’ is beginning to make sense to you again.

You see that your purpose is to improve the lives of those people who matter to you, by being the best you can be.

Not to be nice. Not to get something from someone.

To lead. And through leadership, you notice that you can’t help but get better; create better things; increase your skills; lead better; show others the way.

With a leader’s mind, you’re no longer focused on your pains.

It will take some time, but already it feels better.

Your people are finding you.

Your people are giving you the respect you deserve.

You are buzzing.

You’ve found the ‘cure.’

Summary: A ‘cure’ for your anxiety/depression/angst is to stop trying to cure your anxiety/depression/angst and go and make someone else happy; to put the focus off your issues, and towards building value and improving the lives of others.

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Originally published on Red Lemon Club

Alex Mathers
Alex Mathers


Alex Mathers is a writer and illustrator from London, based in Bangkok. He enjoys exploring ideas that help us be more confident and creative. His book: 'Joining the Dots: The A-Z Handbook for Making a Success of Your Creative Skills' is available for free, for a limited time.

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