I remember the first few months I was dealing with overwhelming anxiety like they were yesterday. They were probably the worst months I have had in my short 21 years of life. The constant racing thoughts. The constant lack of control of your own body. The constant fear that you are going to freak out in public. Constantly holding back how you are feeling because you know it is irrational and others won’t understand.
Constant. Constant. Constant. It felt almost as if the only constant thing in my life was anxiety.
I felt distant from close friends, family, and everyone in the world. I felt very alone and afraid of the future. I felt stuck with no sunset or happy ending in sight. The days were long and hard. The tears seemed almost never ending.
When I first started to talk to a counselor I felt as if his suggestions were not helping me in anyway. I would try them day after day, with rare success. We talked every week and I would report back to him on how things were going, which was usually just as bad as the week before. Things were not getting better and I was getting bitter.
I felt awful for who I was. I felt awful for the fact that this was my own body and mind, but I couldn’t control it. I felt awful that this was not like a broken bone or cut that was visible on the outside, but it was something that no one could see and only I could feel. I felt very alone through the whole process. I felt as if it was my fault that I had anxiety and I needed to just get over it.
I didn’t start to get better until I realized that I am not my anxiety.
Yes, I have anxiety, but anxiety is not me. Anxiety is not something that I will allow to describe me as a person. I am good. I am capable of whatever I come up against. I may need to go about things in a different way than some people, but that is okay. Sometimes I need to take a break to breath when others are perfectly fine. Sometimes I need to take a nap when things get over whelming. Who cares.
When I started to realize this I started to get better, slowly. It was a process and I still deal with it almost everyday, but I do get through it.
Anxiety is not your fault. Anxiety is not something you have brought upon yourself to get attention.
Anxiety is a medical condition in your brain. Over time you can find things to calm it down and to be able to function better. Time and testing new ideas and new ways to over come it is how you will find your own personal cure.
It is a personal discovery that will affect your life forever.
Take the time. Talk to a counselor. Talk to whoever can help you.
Most importantly, remember you are not your anxiety. Don’t let it ruin your life or take your life. Move forward and make anxiety no longer your constant.
Start now. Start today.
You are good. You are going to get better.