My Anxiety Story

Oct 25, 2018 | Life in Progress

I have struggled with anxiety most of my life. At its worst, it presented as full-blown OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when I was in college. I was 19, working too many jobs, taking too many credits, and stressed beyond measure. I started obsessing over numbers. It was terrifying and crazy making. That was 25 years ago, and although I was able to work through my OCD with about a year of meds, therapy, and scaling down my college workload, I still struggled with pretty potent anxiety symptoms throughout my 20’s.

It wasn’t until I discovered art, at the age of 30, that my anxiety truly began to release its hold on me.

I no longer overly worried about being a few minutes late. Traffic bothered me less. I didn’t need/require a super tidy home with all the beds made and zero dirty dishes in the sink. I became less afraid when John did ‘dangerous’ things like surfing.

My heart started to rest. That’s why I call it Let Art Out, Let Love In. Creativity, and living a creative life, saved me. Making messy backgrounds allowed a cathartic unleashing of control, and that practice found its way off the canvas too as my threshold for imperfect living expanded. I could go on and on here.

The themes of TRUST and ALLOW come up for me a ton when I’m making art. And they come up for me a ton as a parent, a partner, and biz lady, too. I’m grateful to have Creativity and Creative Living as big tools for me as I continue my healing/joy journey.

Life is messy. And brilliant. We are all gorgeous train wrecks.

Speaking of trust…

(Find this print in the shop here)

I thought I’d share this new piece with you. It’s one of my longer/larger pieces that I call Manifestos. This one is the Trust Manifesto and it’s brand spankin NEW.

May it inspire you to embrace the imperfections, let faith work in your life, and know that none of us are alone as we are guided toward beauty and truth.

Don’t be afraid of the chaos that shows up on the canvas, or off. Be conscious of the shifts within yourself as you navigate the mess. Lean into the discomfort, the joys, the play, and fall deeper in trust with each stroke on the canvas and each breath off of it.

We are meant for these journeys. 

We can hold the mess and the brilliance all at once.

Sending much love,

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1 Comment
  1. Brenda

    Beautifully written..thank you!


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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