This morning I woke up full of anxiety. This is actually nothing new, but as I sat with my anxiety this morning I realized I was anxious about fantasy football and the upcoming U.S. Open in tennis and so many other things that I not only don’t have control over, but that aren’t really important in the grand scheme of things. And this, my friends, is what I call decoy anxiety.
Decoy anxiety is what happens when my anxiety doesn’t have anything else to attach itself to. Sometimes it is because I’ve been so mindful about managing my anxiety when it comes to big things like work and family that my anxiety has to find trivial things to be anxious about. And I’ve heard this with other individuals too. For example, if they are on vacation their anxiety will just attach to something else like the weather or the people in the room next to them at the hotel or whatever.
Part of this is that anxiety, like any mental illness in my opinion, is so similar to demons (hence why I always refer to them as demons). And like any demon, it needs a host, it needs something to attach itself too. And sometimes that is trivial things. Sometimes this decoy anxiety is the demons trying to distract you from the actual darkness within, the actual roots of the anxiety.
And sometimes others are dismissive of such seemingly trivial anxieties, these decoy anxieties if you will. Heck, sometimes we want to be dismissive of it ourselves. Yet just because our anxiety in that moment is attached to something that is seemingly trivial does not make the anxiety itself, or our experience in anxiety trivial. You have the right to feel however you feel because that acceptance will help you deal with not only the decoy anxiety, but the root and the core of the anxiety as well.