When It’s Not Your Fault

One of the things my anxiety loves to do to me is try and convince me that everything is my fault.

Of course, this only applies to the bad things. When good things happen, anxiety brain likes to remind me that I just got lucky or that this stroke of good fortune can’t possibly last. Good things are a fluke, and bad things are completely and utterly my fault—and if it’s my fault, it must also be my responsibility to fix them or be punished for failing to fix them. Anxiety brain can really get out of hand with what qualifies as “bad” and “my fault.” I’ve had to pull a slew of coping mechanisms out of my tool box to deal with anxiety brain trying to punish me for the actions of the American government barely three days into 2020.

We see those tendencies crop up for Alexis in Chapter 13 of Author x Audience as well, especially in relation to her relationship with her mother and being home again. 

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Working in A Dream

There are a lot of ideas that can turn daily existence into a mental hellscape. Especially when you have anxiety. Alexis deals with one in particular in Chapter 8—but before I get to her experience, I need to walk you through mine.

When I was a child, my parents put me in therapy at a relatively young age. I was placed in therapy because I was hitting other children. One might wonder why I was doing that, but one wouldn’t have far to look. My father had been beaten by his father, and though he considered himself far less of a tyrant than his father (because he used his open hand instead of his belt), my father still seemed to think that hitting my sisters and I was the best way to get through to us when we did something he didn’t like.

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Anxiety Spirals

There are a couple of things in Chapter Three that are very real.

First, I did indeed spend time in Japan studying abroad because I wanted to become a manga editor. Alexis’s experience there was probably better than mine, because mine ended halfway through the year I intended to stay when my anxiety and depression got to be too much for me.

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