Anxiety and Streaming: Taking the Leap

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Put yourself in the shoes of someone with a crippling fear of heights for a moment.

Stomach knotted to the point of nausea at the mere thought of being up high. Body feeling like it’ll melt into a weak and goopy pile of please-god-no from the moment it leaves solid ground until the moment it returns. Heart hammering, palms sweating, mouth dry, knees weak, nerves shot –  and you’re only 7 feet up the ladder putting Christmas lights on the roof trim.

Maybe that describes you, maybe it doesn’t. I know it describes me. If it doesn’t describe you, then just pretend for a moment that it does.

Now imagine yourself standing at the open door of a skydiving plane, suited up and ready to free fall through the sky nearly 2.5 miles above solid ground.  Fuck no, right? Yeah. Same here. And you know what? I would equate that situation, that feeling, to someone with crippling anxiety hovering their mouse over a ‘Start Stream’ button.

I can already hear the protests on that assertion… but bear with me on this one.

Are there some obvious differences between skydiving and streaming? Of course. I’m not saying this is an apples-to-apples comparison here. What I am saying is that both can involve paralyzing fear, exposing yourself to possible harm, extreme departure from comfort zones, a certain “loss of control” over your world – but can also be damned fun and have life-changing potential. All you have to do is to take the leap.

I’m not going to lie to you. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t sugarcoat or bullshit, so I say this next part with all sincerity: streaming is not for everyone. Unfortunately it’s especially hard to get into – and, in some cases, stay into – for those of us with crippling anxiety. That’s not a crutch, or an excuse, just a fact. There will inevitably be people who object to my claim that streaming with anxiety is on the same level as skydiving with a fear of heights, and that’s fine. Everyone has their own opinion. But there’s also no denying the similar levels of overwhelming dread, and the sheer amount of willpower and bravery needed to overcome that dread.

Unfortunately, and all too often, that dread ultimately keeps many of us from clicking the ‘Start Stream’ button.

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