Originally published on the artist’s blog, Snap Draws, and republished here with the artist’s permission.
Anxiety can be hard to understand if you’ve never experienced it. But have you ever experienced a rainy day? Because there are similarities you can learn from.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
(A sketchpad is being held out in each of the nine panels showing different sketches telling the story.)
(Sketch of a rising sun on the top right corner. A few birds are flying. Below this, to the right is a sketch of a person with a wide smile and rounded eyes.
Towards the bottom, at the left corner is a sketch of a person with both hands up near the head. There are raindrops above the head.)
Person 1: (getting rained on) BALLS!
Text : WHEN ANYONE ASKS ME ABOUT ANXIETY;I ALWAYS COMPARE IT TO THE WEATHER.
IT’S KIND OF LIKE GOING FOR A WALK WHEN IT STARTS TO RAIN, AND REALIZING YOU DON’T HAVE AN UMBRELLA.
(Sketch of two people with wide smiles in the foreground holding open umbrellas propped up on their shoulders and one person in the background who is getting rained on. The person on the right in the foreground has one arm up, palms out, pointing at the person opposite.)
Text: EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO OWN AN UMBRELLA AND THEY ALL ASK “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS GET RAINED ON?”
“WHY DON’T YOU JUST BUY AN UMBRELLA?”
(Sketch of a person is in the lower right corner who is sitting on the ground surrounded by small puddles. The person has the legs drawn tight against the body and arms curled about the legs in the front. The chin is resting on the knees. The person is getting rained on and has a distressed look on the face.)
Text: EXCEPT YOU CAN’T JUST “BUY AN UMBRELLA” AND THE WEATHER JUST SEEMS TO GET WORSE,
AND WORSE AND WORSE AND THERES NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT, EITHER.
(Sketch of a person to the right top corner with a wide eyed, contemplative look on the face surrounded by a thought bubble in the background. Another sketch in the lower half in the center of two people facing each other with happy, laughing faces. The person on the left has one arm held up with the hand thrust towards the other person. The person on the right has one arm halfway across the chest.)
Person on the left: HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Person on the right: THANK YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TOO!!
Text: WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM ANXIETY, YOU WORRY ABOUT THINGS THAT SOMETIMES AREN’T REALLY A PROBLEM AT ALL.
MAY BE IF YOU SAY SOMETHING REALLY STUPID. MID CONVERSATION.
(The sketch at top right corner shows a person with a huge smile full of teeth and both hands thrown up and wide, looking like a clown with the words “I’M GOING TO BE A HORRENDOUS FAILURE!!” written above the head. The sketch at the lower left corner shows a person with a dejected face, one arm held against the waist and the other held up and away from the body.)
Person: I FEEL LIKE EVERYONE IS GOING TO GET FED UP WITH ME AND NOT WANT TO BE AROUND ME ANYMORE
Text: WHAT WOULD CAUSE MILD EMBARRASSMENT FOR SOME PEOPLE COULD CAUSE A FULL-SCALE MENTAL BLOWOUT
IN SOMEONE WHO IS ANXIOUS A LOT.
TO OFFLOAD MY OWN ANXIETY. I TRY TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT HOW I FEEL WHEN IT STARTS TO GET REALLY BAD.
(Sketch pad shows five different comments.)
Comment 1: YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE OUR CARE AND SUPPORT.
Comment 2: OF COURSE WE STILL LOVE YOU!
Comment 3: WE ARE ALWAYS HERE TO TALK IF YOU NEED TO!
Comment 4: I PROMISE YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT.
Comment 5: EVERYONE FEELS LIKE THAT NOW AND AGAIN IT’S OKAY.
Text: AT FIRST, PEOPLE ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE.
Text: AFTER THE 4TH OR 5TH TIME, HOWEVER…
(Sketch pad shows six different comments.)
Comment 1: THAT’S JUST HOW THE WORLD WORKS.
Comment 2: THIS IS GETTING SILLY, NOW.
Comment 3: DO YOU EVER STOP WORRYING OR COMPLAINING
Comment 4: GET OVER IT, JESUS CHRIST.
Comment 5: THIS IS STARTING TO ANNOYING ME.
Comment 6: IF YOU KNOW IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD THEN WHY ARE YOU STILL LIKE THIS?
(Sketch of a person at the top right corner with a desolate look on the face and arms folded across, hugging self, and surrounded by a thick, black coils.
Sketch of two people at the lower left corner sitting at a table. The person on the left is looking at the person the right from the corners of the eyes with a skeptical look on the face. The person on the right has closed eyes. Hands are resting on the table, folded in the front. There are black coils above the head within a speech bubble.)
Person on the left: ?
TEXT: AS A RESULT, I GET SO SCARED MY ANXIETIES WILL BE FULFILLED I STOP SAYING ANYTHING AT ALL.
WHICH ONLY TAKES ME BACK TO SQUARE ONE AGAIN.
I UNDERSTAND THAT HAVING TO SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO FEELS LIKE THIS CAN BE FRUSTRATING ESPECIALLY WHEN THE SOLUTION SEEMS SO SIMPLE.
(Sketch of two people in the right lower corner one in front of the other. The person at the back is hugging the person in front with one hand on the shoulder and an arm across the front. The person in the front has both hands tilted to one side, towards the person at the back. Both people have their eyes closed and smiling, dreamy, loving look on the faces. There is a red heart within a speech bubble.)
TEXT: BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND.
THAT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO SUFFER WITH ANXIETY HAVE VERY LITTLE CONTROL TO STOP IT, AND YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE ABLE TO STOP IT FOR THEM, EITHER.
CONSTANT REASSURANCE AND PATIENCE, HOWEVER, USUALLY DOES A PRETTY GOOD JOB.
To learn more about this topic, check out:
- 5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Somebody Dealing with Anxiety
- Feminism and Anxiety: How the Movement Changed My Relationship with My Mental Health
Sophie Wright an Illustrator from the UK, based in the north of England. Sophie enjoys cutting big things down into bite-size chunks, and making difficult topics easier to understand. Check out more of Sophie’s art on Snap Draws.