Ever felt like you can’t explain how your anxiety feels? Artist Marzi has a solution.
Attention anyone with anxiety who spent time in class with their head down doodling in a notebook: This is a comic series for you.
It’s called Introvert Doodles and started as a “self-pep talk” by a comic who goes by Marzi. She was inspired to explore her identity as an introvert after a personality test made her realize her introverted tendencies weren’t flaws — they were part of her personality.
On her site, she explains (in a doodle, of course):
“I was surprised when others connected with my doodles on Instagram,” she told The Mighty in an email. (“I’d love to hear from you. Just not over the phone,” she writes on her site.) “I realized I wasn’t the only one discovering that it’s OK to be an introvert.”
She also also features comics about living with anxiety. Although, she says, having anxiety and being an introvert are not synonymous.
“My anxiety began in my teens. I consider myself lucky, as right now it’s managed pretty well with medication,” she said. “I’m an introvert who happens to have anxiety… Being an introvert simply means you draw your energy from within, and social outings drain your energy. It’s a personality you’re born with and not something that needs to be fixed.”
“Sometimes anxiety and introversion overlap,” Marzi said. “In those cases, it’s helpful to identify the differences, so you know which tendencies to work on and which to embrace. I’ve learned that some things I was trying so hard to fix, didn’t need to be fixed at all. For example, it’s OK that I don’t have a big group of friends; it’s perfectly alright to just have one or two. It’s fine to leave a party early when I’m overstimulated. There’s nothing wrong with being quiet and only talking when I have something to say. As for the anxiety, I’m actively working to manage it.”
She says introverts like herself are finding a voice — and learning that, while their strengths are different from those of extroverts, they are no less valuable. And while living with anxiety sometimes comes along with being an introvert, it’s not something that should be dismissed.
“The most important thing I want those without anxiety to understand is this: Even though the perceived danger may be irrational, the fear itself is very real,” she said. “So please, try to be patient.”
Here are six more of her relatable anxiety doodles:
The comics show her understanding of how anxiety can make even the smallest things difficult.
But it is worth celebrating every time you can overcome it.
She knows the feeling of a panic attack:
But she also gives a guide our friends and family through tough moments too.
This story was originally published on The Mighty and is republished here with permission. The Mighty is a platform for people facing health challenges to share their stories and connect. Enter your email here and they’ll send you their best stories each week.
If you liked this story, you might also want to check out: What It’s Like to Have “High-Functioning” Anxiety
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