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August 11, 2014

Saying Goodbye to My Anxiety


Last week, after my meditation post, I heard from a reader that being present doesn’t necessarily require meditation. Her point was a good one: If sitting cross-legged with burning candles for fifteen minutes isn’t your thing, there are other ways. I didn’t realize then that while my meditation practice will surely be beneficial, I may be neglecting the other 23+ hours in the day. The hours when I obsesses about my future. And by future I mean tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and 10 years from now. I may not worry about whether it’s going to rain or if I’m going to catch a cold when it does, but my neurosis is alive and well and it has a name: anxiety. I’ve lived with anxiety for so long that it’s part of my DNA. I hardly recognize when I’m anxious because, I’m beginning to wonder, I may always be anxious. Anxious is my normal, disguised as the fully-functioning, highly productive, wildly ambitious person otherwise known as Elizabeth Dehn. She almost always has her shit together, but inside her mind is worrying about the next event, assignment or expectation that requires her to get her shit together all over again. I don’t really know if this is normal or not. If everyone feels anxious but I just tend to think and talk and worry about my anxiety as I tend to do with most of my emotions. Regardless, I’m tired. Tired of living on an imaginary precipice that I created and perpetuate. I’ve done a solid job, with the help of an amazing tribe of therapists, friends and family, to celebrate my past in all of its imperfect glory. In fact, I’ve had a beautiful life and am equally grateful for its highs and lows. It’s the future that still keeps me from living in the moment—unless it’s day three of a weeklong vacation on a remote island where internet is scarce and I’ve put a moratorium on social media. Only then do I fully check out of my head and check into what’s in front of me. I’m hoping to change that, once and for all, by putting it in writing. My anxiety about the future isn’t going to vanish with one blog post, but I hereby give this derisive habit, this soul-sucking, life-dulling way of being up to the universe.



  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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