Shortly after signing up for this website, I stumbled across information on the idea of there being secondary gains (and losses, and according to one website) the associated with my anxiety and depression. Secondary gains are the oft unintended but alluring side benefits of NOT getting better. For me, the secondary gains for my anxiety include having an excuse to not do something I didnt want to do in the first place for non-anxiety related reasons , garnering sympathy, validation and compassion, and being able to justify my lack of progress in my career, marriage and life in general. In effecte i have learned to manufacture anxiety in certain situations because I benefit from it somehow.
This is both a damning and freeing realization; damning because now that I am aware of it, it is no longer possible to pretend that I don’t have any control, because clearly I can “manufacture” anxiety to get out of things i dont want to do and freeing because if this was learned it can be unlearned.
I do suspect that unlearning will be a difficult road though, because it will require a taking on an unprecedented degree of ownership over my life. Its easier to wear this uncomfortable but familiar blanket of anxiety than it is to try to be comfortable with the unfamiliar but i am tired of living like this so i figure I will give it a shot.
(As a sidenote, i am a little concerned that i am going to get shit for this or that people are going to be mad that i would suggest, even if only for myself, that anxiety and depression can become self-serving and as such, self-perpetuating . It feels blasphemous almost to go so far asato even suggest such a thing. I suppose i will find out if my concerns are valid after i poke the publish button.)