Welcome to the Kingdom of Anxiety

Dragana Potpara

12, Oct 2021

Welcome to the Kingdom of Anxiety, a place in which nobody likes to be, but we all visit it at least once in our life. However, in case you haven’t been there yet, the Anxiety Kingdom may be something unknown and unfamiliar to you, so let me introduce you briefly to it.

Nobody knows where the Anxiety Kingdom is, at least when referred to geographical location. And why is that so? Well, we can’t know the exact location of it because, in reality, this kingdom doesn’t have one physical location. It has more of them. The Kingdom of Anxiety has various and numerous locations all over the world, and if we would try to determine its permanent place of residence, it would be in vain since this Kingdom is constantly changing its location, and it can even be present at the same time in more different places.

The Kingdom of Anxiety functions in a way that it comes, and then goes. In some places, it stays only for a short period of time, while in others it can stay for months or even years. ‘Places’, perhaps that’s not the appropriate term to describe the accommodations that get visited by the moving Kingdom of Anxiety. The right term would be ‘people’ because in this case, it’s not the people who go and visit the Kingdom of Anxiety, it’s the Kingdom itself that visits different people and makes itself feel at home wherever it goes.

To the Kingdom of Anxiety, it’s easy to feel like at home because its home is everywhere where stressed and lost people are. Once the Kingdom of Anxiety smells a person like that in its surroundings, it goes straight to that person to book a few nights at her place. But here we’re not talking about a flat or house of a stressed person. We’re talking about the inner hotel of a person who, although not by her wish, had to reserve few rooms for the unexpected guest: the Anxiety Kingdom.

As you may assume, this guest is quite big and capricious, which is why one room is not enough for it. Already at its arrival, the Anxiety Kingdom informed a stressed person that it would need more rooms of her inner hotel. Although there are many rooms available in the inner hotel of a stressed person, the Kingdom of Anxiety has its own preferences. For some reason, it always chooses room number one, which is otherwise called ‘heart’. The heart room is super warm and comfy, which is why it’s the perfect place for the Kingdom of Anxiety to bring its suitcases in there.

Besides the heart room, there’s one more room in the inner hotel of a stressed person that the Anxiety Kingdom adores. Often, it likes to spend time in room number two, which is known by the name ‘lungs’. In the lungs room, the air is nice and fresh, and the environment in it would attract even the most requiring guest.

The third room that the Kingdom of Anxiety also likes to book is situated at the peripheral zone of the stressed person’s inner hotel, and it’s quite distant from rooms number one and two. But the Anxiety Kingdom doesn’t mind that because it likes to walk and change the place of its residence. Actually, it doesn’t even have to walk because it has a special ability to teleport itself from one room to another. Plus, it knows how to multiply itself, so that teleportation is not even necessary then.

As you can see, not only that the Anxiety Kingdom can be present at the same time in more inner hotels of stressed people, but it can also occupy at once several rooms of one same hotel. Now you understand why locating it is not an easy task to do. Well, even if we manage to locate it at one place, that won’t help much because who knows in how many other places this kingdom is also a guest, places that we can’t see. Or can we? Can we recognize a person whose inner hotel is visited by this uninvited guest?

Again, not an easy task to do, but still possible to accomplish. A person whose inner rooms are occupied by the Kingdom of Anxiety has certain characteristics that are visible also on the outside. That person is nervous and agitated, even though it may look to us that there’s no reason for panic. A person who becomes a host of the Anxiety Kingdom tends to overreact and exaggerate in her response to the events and situations that don’t seem so tragic or serious at all.

Usually, what happens when we see that kind of person, we start judging her and think how big drama queen she is. Indeed, she has become a queen, but of something else though. She has become a queen of the insidious Kingdom that offered her the crown of constant anxiety. And when you wear that crown with you wherever you go, your behavior and reactions to your life circumstances become only a reflection of that what’s happening in your inner hotel and its rooms.

But what’s truly happening in there? Why it became so difficult to live joyfully since she put the crown and became a queen of the Anxiety Kingdom? Well, let’s say that it happens because the Kingdom of Anxiety is not a usual guest. We have already seen before that this guest needs more rooms for its vacation, but the trouble is not the fact that it needs more rooms. The trouble occurs because the Kingdom of Anxiety uses these rooms for some different purposes than other guests would.

You wonder how? Let’s look a bit closer at its behavior. Once it comes to the inner hotel of a stressed person, the Anxiety Kingdom unpacks its things and gets immediately into action. It doesn’t like how the furniture is arranged in room number one, so it starts moving everything around. Sometimes, it decides even to reconstruct the walls of that heart room, and that is why the person who welcomed this unusual guest feels like her heart will jump out of her chest. Her heart starts beating faster, and it seems like an earthquake is happening in room number one, but in reality, it’s only the new strange guest adjusting the place by its liking and making itself feel comfortable in it.

As for the second room, the Anxiety Kingdom doesn’t like that much freshness and circulating air in it. Thus, as soon as it gets to the lungs room, it closes all doors and windows, so that no draft could come from anywhere. To the stressed person, this feels like losing a breath and struggling to breathe normally. Then that person gets even more scared, and the natural process of breathing falls into a total disbalance. All that, only because the new guest was trying to stay away from the draft and make itself feel nice in room number two.

The third room that is situated at the periphery of the inner hotel is also known as the ‘palms room’. What’s interesting about this room is that it’s composed of two parts which are separated from each other. These two parts of the third room are furnished in an identical way, the only difference is that one of them is situated on the left, while another one is on the right side of the stressed person’s inner hotel.

And what does the Anxiety Kingdom do when it comes to these two parts of the palms room? Here, the new guest is not that picky, and it likes almost everything about it. Almost… everything. The only things that it doesn’t like in the third room are the carpets which look a bit dirty and shriveled. So, the new guest then rolls up its sleeves, takes a detergent and starts cleaning the carpets. Everything gets more complicated once it lifts these carpets and sees that the reason why they were shriveled was not the dirt on them, but the old dirtiness that was hidden underneath them.

At this point, the guest realizes that if it wants to clean all that dirt off and under these carpets, using only the detergent won’t help much. Therefore, it decides to open all the pipes from the bathroom in order to bring some water to its dirty carpets. On the outside, a stressed person who is a host to this picky guest doesn’t know what’s happening and why all of a sudden her palms became wet and sweaty. But the truth is that there’s no reason to worry, it’s only a new guest washing the carpets of the palms room. And when the water from its bathroom got mixed with the dirtiness of the carpets, it all went out in a form of smelly sweat that started disturbing the already stressed host.

After this, it seems easy to understand what’s truly happening in someone else’s inner hotel. It’s easy not to judge nor be afraid of this strange, uninvited guest when it doesn’t book our inner rooms. But what when it does? What will happen when the Kingdom of Anxiety decides to spend some time in the accommodation we’re offering?

Well, when the Anxiety Kingdom knocks at the door of our inner hotel, there’s nothing much we could do about it. It has already booked its rooms, and our task is to welcome and accept it the best we can. But once it leaves, we can rearrange the furniture, eliminate the draft, and clean all the dirtiness from our carpets (and under them), so that we make sure that this uninvited guest never chooses to stay in our inner hotel again.

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