Today, let’s talk: ANXIETY.
There’s a big difference between normal, everyday anxiety & actually having a disorder. We can all feel anxious from time to time & in certain situations, even the most calm people can be triggered to feel anxious if exposed to breaking points. But that doesn’t mean they have an anxiety disorder.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you know that those feelings don’t just go away. You can’t just avoid stressful situations so that they don’t get worse. The anxiety disorder exists & it’s real. Avoiding an anxious situation will make you feel instant gratification of not facing whatever it is making you anxious, but this approach doesn’t help in the long run. Anticipatory anxiety increases the more you avoid it & you’ll likely (& inevitably) have to face the stressful situation again.
Today, I want to get a little personal with you guys.
When my mom passed away, I developed severe anxiety. The complete loss of control over being able to do anything to save her life traumatized me so much that I refused to accept it. When her name came up or a memory was brought up, I went mute & retreated. I showed no emotion. I was a brick wall.
But you have no idea what was going on in my head & how my body felt. I felt choked. A lump so large formed in my throat that I had no words. I was sweating, dizzy, lightheaded, my heart was racing & I lost any & all ability to organize & rationalize my thoughts.
Instead of facing the anxiety, I internalized, denied & hid it. Nobody could tell I was suffering, but I was… for years.
She passed away in 2013 & it’s only in 2017, when I finally decided to recover from my ED that my therapist suggested I see a grief counsellor, to grieve, 4 YEARS LATER, the loss of my best friend. That grief counsellor was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s thanks to her that I was able to admit that I HAVE ANXIETY & I was able to understand what caused it, how I could cope & live a happy life without it weighing on me everyday.
I guess my recovery was a blessing in disguise because without it, I would’ve probably still never grieved her passing & I’d still be repressing my anxiety. In retrospect, I probably should’ve grieved her passing sooner.
But, retrospective regrets are useless in the grand scheme of things.
What I want you guys to take from this is that it’s never too late to grieve the loss of someone or something. Grieving is a necessary process in the human mind being able to recover, grow & accept.
Internalizing grief, frustration, anger will only come back & bite you one day, maybe in a month, a year, 3 or 6 years. Trust me, I speak from experience. In fact, in my ED treatment, we discovered that the repression of my emotions related to losing my mom & the feeling of a total loss of control over the situation was one of the contributing factors to the development of my need & obsession with control over food & what was going into my body.
If you think you might be dealing with anxiety & you don’t know where to turn, this is my cry out to you to TALK about it, to FACE it & to learn to COPE with it.
Life is too short to wake up everyday feeling anxious, to feel like you’re drowning & you can’t come up or like you’re trapped & fighting for air.
Anxiety is a horrible mental illness, but take it from me, it is possible to live a happy & full life without it being so intolerable that it dominates you.
Take matters into your own hands.
Take care of YOU.
Find the coping mechanisms that work for YOU.
TALK ABOUT IT & don’t let it dominate you.
INSTEAD, DOMINATE IT.