Google Dictionary defines the term anxiety as “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”
I define it as the underlying feeling of dread and fear that encompasses every thought in my head, every minute of every day.
The cure? For some it is therapy, medication and pretending it doesn’t exist. For me, it’s the New York Yankees.
The beginning of spring was never at the solstice. No, it was always when Yankees baseball finally showed up on TV after a long, depressing winter of hibernation from the ball field. That was the only true sign that spring had officially sprung.
For me, the Yankees season is a reminder. It is a reminder that we can’t control the world or what happens to us. It is a reminder that some things are out of my control, no matter how hard I work to make it right.
A lesson that is tough to learn but for me, is a necessary one. I worked throughout my teen and even adult years to maintain control over every aspect of my life: my relationships, my friendships, the way people act. When things spiraled out of my control, so did I. I allowed myself to lose my grip on my own reality and distance myself, learning the only person I could control was myself and that was good.
But it wasn’t and it still isn’t. When your mind is spiraling, you desperately start reaching out for anything that can keep you grounded. Control is completely necessary.
I mean, what is a pitcher without pitch control? What is a hitter without bat control? I’ll tell you what it is: it’s chaos.
But it’s a part of the game, much like it is a part of life. Losing control happens and while it’s no fun, it isn’t the end of the world. A wild pitch from a pitcher? We get over it. The Yankees lose a game in April? We move on.
I’ve always assumed that baseball was all about control. In reality, control is important but it isn’t everything. And when control evades us, it doesn’t cause our entire world to explode.
Some might learn that through extensive therapy but I was able to learn that by watching the New York Yankees day in and day out. In fact, I learned far more about life and myself from the boys in pinstripes without even knowing them personally.
Night after night during the season, the Yankees are showing up, whether they know that they’re needed or not. They’re the date that never stands you up, the friend you can always count on to raise your spirits just by their presence. They are the constant in a world that is rapidly rushing past.
And my world could use some consistency. I think all of our worlds could, probably. Maybe that’s why the New York Yankees have so many admirers.
This world is full of chaos. It’s full of changes. For me, it’s full of anxiety. But the crippling anxiety that takes over more often than not is calmed by the sport of baseball.
The New York Yankees got me through so much from high school until now. I can’t even begin to thank them for all they’ve unknowingly given me. They give me something to look forward to when the days seem dark. They give me joy even on the most difficult days. They give me comfort in knowing that control isn’t something that is needed in this life.
Perhaps, most importantly, when I’m at my absolute worst, they give me hope in knowing that tomorrow is a new day, a new game, a new chance to not let this anxiety emerge victorious.