I was officially diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at the age of 24 when I finally disclosed the symptoms I was experiencing with my doctor. But I knew I always struggled with it.
For any of you who’re out there who experience an anxiety disorder, I know how scary and threatening it can be; when your breath shortens, your heart races and your throat tightens.
For some of you, especially those of you who have panic attacks, it might feel like you’re about to die. And the worst part about anxiety is that you never know when it’s going to rise again or worsen; it’s invisible, quiet and unpredictable.
We don’t get warnings ahead of time, not like flashing ambulance lights to let us know there’s an emergency with a blare of a sound alarm. Often it will sneak up on us and breathe negative thoughts into our head-space.
Ever since I started meditating more and shifting my self-talk in a better direction, my anxiety no longer has as much control over my life as it used too. But sometimes all it takes is one unfortunate event to get my heart racing.
For the most part, my childhood was cloaked in chaos. Every day it felt like I was walking on eggshells, I never knew where the next bomb was going to set off. I became fearful of many things; death, being yelled at, eating in front of others, socializing and not being good enough. The list goes on but I don’t want to bore you.
My experience with anxiety isn’t necessarily a fairy tale. I still have a long way to go and I’m not sure if they’ll be a happy ending, but I’m curious enough to find out and keep going.
It’s funny, my relationship with the unknown used to be a cumulus one; I would often get thrown into unpleasant situations one after the other. And if I felt like I wasn’t performing well, I was quick to blame myself, but never the person who had a choice in guiding me in a healthier fashion.
Nowadays however as I’m navigating a streets of adulthood, I’m beginning to welcome change with open arms. I’m not telling you the water work will stop, and that there won’t be days where you won’t feel like getting out of bed because this still very much exist for me. But I can say with confidence, there is so much for me to live for.
My boyfriend the Cat likes crawling up on the couch with me. I’ve yet to experience and try thousands of recipes on my list. And I know there are people my life who care about me and want me to succeed.
Instead of playing the victim and asking myself why anxiety chose to haunt me, I stopped feeling sorry for myself.
Yes, I recognized that if they didn’t have anxiety, maybe my high school years wont have been as traumatizing for me, and maybe I would have developed relationships with people I would want to talk to, but was too afraid to approach. But looking back with regrets isn’t something that will propel me forward. Instead, that’s like giving into anxiety and saying; OK, you win. You can continue controlling my life. I know these things are always easier said than done.
Believe me, I was not able to achieve this overnight and there are things I still need to work on.
But anything that’s worth having in life is always worth the effort. Anxiety is an ongoing battle for me, but it’s no longer threat to me. Have a personal story you want to share about experience with anxiety or mental health problem?