Anxiety, like many other mental health issues, has a shroud of mystery and taboo surrounding it.
I think maybe it’s because it’s hard and scary to talk about. Maybe we like to hope that if we don’t talk about it, it will magically go away.
But that’s not how it works. At least it’s not how it’s worked for me.
The more I was silent about my struggles with anxiety, the harder it was for me to cope. Little by little, I started speaking it.
The more I spoke about anxiety, the easier it became. (Note: I say easier, not easy. Talking about my fears is never easy.)
There was something else that I discovered:
“… as we let our own lights shine,
we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
There’s some things I wish others understood about anxiety though:
- Anxiety can happen to anyone at any stage in life.
- Sometimes we can have days on end where things are going amazing and then…bam! There’s our companion again pouncing on us seemingly from out of nowhere.
- Anxiety can cycle around on itself so that it’s almost like a spiral. I can get anxious about having anxiety. I can have the anxiety spin into anxiety about related things, or sometimes things that don’t seem related at all. (I mean why discriminate, right?!)
- Sometimes I don’t even know what the hell I’m anxious about.
- Anxiety is not logical. We’re often aware of this.
- Anxiety can be physically painful and it’s exhausting. For this reason, self-care is often at the top of my list of things I need to do to be healthy.
- Anxiety can come with a fierce friend: depression.
Finally, the last and most important fact:
I am more than my anxiety.
And I’ve found some ways to help me make it through to the other side of my anxiety attacks which include:
- Reading books that feed me.
- Talking to trusted friends/family members.
- Being out in nature.
- Making art.
- Snuggling with one of my kitties or kiddies.
- Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.
- Deep breathing exercises.
I’ve learned that because (and despite) my anxiety, I am a fierce fighter. I’ve got to be.
Author: Lindsay Lock
Image: Unsplash/Japheth Mast
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton