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If you don't have it, chronic anxiety can be hard to understand. These comics can help.

Ever felt like you can't explain how your anxiety feels? Artist Marzi has a solution.

If you don't have it, chronic anxiety can be hard to understand. These comics can help.

Attention anyone with anxiety who spent time in class with their head down doodling in a notebook: This is a comic series for you.

Introvert Doodles started as a “self-pep talk” by a comic artist 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):


Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

“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 features comics about life 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.”

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

“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.”

The comics show her understanding of how anxiety can make even the smallest things difficult.

Here are six more of her relatable anxiety doodles:

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

But it's worth celebrating every time you can overcome it.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

She knows the feeling of a panic attack:

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

But she also helps guide friends and family through tough moments too.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

To see more from Marzie, visit her site, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out her book, "The Introvert Activity Guide."

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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