Wednesday, 28 January 2015 03:22

In the Middle of Anxiety...

 Anxiety is many things. Those of us that struggle with it would never name any of those things in a positive manner. Instead we would say things like, anxiety is...

 

Tormenting

Suffering

Burdening

Painful

Exhausting

Scary

Confusing

Lonely

Life altering (negatively)

 

...amongst many other negative things. But, what if I told you that anxiety can also be...

 

Inspiring

Enlightening

Empathetic

Growth providing

Strength Building

Clarifying

Life altering (positively)

 

Would you believe me? Somebody in the middle of an anxiety episode would probably say no. But here's the kicker...its in the middle of our anxiety, smack dab in the core of its intensity, that we can experience those exact things. That's right. Instead of feeling and experiencing all of those negative things, we can experience the positive ones. Or at the very least, we can have both. Now before you write me off as crazy, or someone who just doesn't understand, hear me out. This advice is not coming from someone on the outside who has no clue what it is like to suffer the anguish of anxiety. To the contrary, I have been at the brunt of anxiety and its many forms (panic, generalized, social, health related, phobias, OCD) for as long as I can remember. To make matters worse, I did not understand what it even was until I was in my 20's. Up until then I walked around internalizing everything and wondering if I truly was crazy. And, 6 years later, I am still fighting the good fight. I actually had one of the worst years ever with my anxiety this past year. But, on the flip side, it was because of this past year that I experienced more growth and clarity than I have in my whole life. Facing the worst of my anxiety head on forced me to become stronger. It pushed me to understand myself better and what I have to offer.

 

Now when I think to myself “what I wouldn't give to never experience another episode,” I stop and remind myself of all of the good things I would have to give up along with it. In the end I wouldn't be myself anymore. I eventually had to ask myself, is that what I really want? To not be me anymore? I mean, sure I am anxious, but I am anxious because I love deeply, because I care deeply. Some might say I care too much which is why I worry about everything, but whats so wrong with caring on that kind of a level? Would I rather not care at all? Who says that is better? Sometimes I think others could be more empathetic and caring. Sometimes I see what not caring enough can do and I am grateful to be as sensitive as I am. I believe that people with anxiety are more than just worriers. They are what I like to call highly sensitive people. I don't mean this in the sense that you say one wrong thing and we break down and cry. I mean that we are highly sensitive to all aspects of this world.

 

I truly believe that people with anxiety see the world from an enhanced perspective. In turn, this allows them the ability to see the beauty in things, deeply feel the love that life has to offer, and to find the growth in every experience. This makes for excellent teachers, writers, advice givers, artists, creators and even leaders. Unfortunately, as a result of this intensity and sensitivity, we tend to dwell and flounder in the negative aspects of this world and life. This is due to our “knowing” of all that can be lost or taken from us. Anxiety truly is a double-edged sword. However, I also look at anxiety as almost like a sixth sense that we just don't know what to do with. But, once this is realized and respected, anxiety can be used to our advantage. Once those of us with anxiety understand it as being a direct result of our very nature and a key component in who we are as a being in this life, we can stop fearing it and start embracing and accepting it for all that it is, both positive and negative. Now, this is easier said than done, but it can be done. It takes work and it takes daily reminders and practice when you are in the thick of it, but you will slowly start to realize why your anxiety is manifesting and how to take that intense energy and put it towards something positive. Does this mean that I have it all figured out and will never experience anxiety again? Certainly not! It actually means that I am learning to accept it as an inevitable part of my existence, but at the same time I strive to find the positive in it as often as I can. In others words, I strive to let it lift me up instead of beat me down.

  

 For example, for me this requires writing. I realized that all of the thoughts inside my head need an outlet. It is important to me to find a way to inspire and help others with my words. It is a yearning in my soul. This inspires me to find the growth in every experience life throws at me so I can share my learning with others. It keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and gives me a reason to push forward. I also love to draw because it allows me to not think about anything for a change. I also know that being alone is nice sometimes, but too much of that is never a good thing for me. And I know I sometimes have to force myself to join in on certain activities or groups because in the end I know it will benefit me. I know I need to vent sometimes and have found a great therapist who understands me. I also have a great husband who has had to take on the brunt of a lot of my anxiety, and I am starting to learn that it is not fair and not best for me to expect him to know how to help me all the time. This is why I have my therapist, this community, groups, family, and close friends as well. I am also following my curiosity and yearning for understanding my spirituality and what I truly believe is beyond this life. This is a long road too, but I know it is crucial to my existence. Bottom line, I am learning to understand myself and am starting to explore my potential through all of it, the good and the bad. You just have to find what works for you. This journey will be different for everybody, but the goal should generally be the same. To learn to understand yourself, your potential, and to love all that you are and have to offer, because we are all perfectly imperfect and are designed to be just so.  

Published in Diary
Sunday, 11 January 2015 03:00

To be or not to be anxious

After Googling "sweaty hands", I got directed to this site. I've been having issues with excessive sweat on my hands, back,... feet, well everywhere on my body. Even went to a dermatologist for a solution. She gave me something to rub on my hands etc and it worked, so I never really had any second thoughts about it, it does sting a little bit the day after but it's okay. I've Google'd it before, but never really got into it. Now I think I might have a type of mild anxiety, after reading some symptoms and knowing I have some of them too. Allthough I'm not really sure I have anxiety, I thought i'd write down some of my thoughts. 

Up untill now some of my symptoms or problems are: sweatiness when nervous (it can get really bad to the point it's like my hands are sweating non-stop, it makes me introverted while i'm normally not at all, I like social contact but I haven't had a girlfriend for 8 years because of it) I remember when I was 16, sitting on the train with some friends and one of my female friends grabbed my hands and litterally asked if I had been fingering her other friend because my hands were so wet... ofcourse this cause me to get more nervous) I also get pain in my stomach from time to time, but not always. So far my physical "pains". My psychological "pains" , for me that is, are not easy to explain. I have a different mindset than most people. I think more in a "strong, silent type"- kind of way, props to The Sopranos ofcourse. In short, this means that I'm not going to talk to someone about my problems. I want to overcome my problems on my own. And if I have anxiety, so be it, I will eventually overcome this. It's not as bad as some of you whose comments I've read, I'm not afraid of going out or meeting new people, I do get stressed and I tend to overthink alot but you could say i lead a "normal" life. Everybody has problems, I try to deal with them. That is at least how I see it. I don't want to be selfish and bother others with my shallow problems. Ofcourse I wouldn't be saying this if I suffered as much as some, but for me, it is what it is, I don't have cancer and like i stated previously, my life isn't that bad. I don't want to discourage any of you reading this who suffer from anxiety from getting help, it is merely how I see it, from my point of view. So some other syptoms I have: I worry alot and this causes me alot of sleepless nights, For example when someone says something "mean" to me I end up fretting about it for hours. Well that's about all I can think of for now, I"ll share one more thing though.

Since I was little I've always had this dream, I don't even have to be asleep to experience it. It only occurs though when I'm in my bed. It's like the room I'm in is way bigger than it actually is and I'm smaller than I actually am. I can't really describe the feeling, maybe I should write it down next time, but I do know that I panick and I really have to tell myself that it isn't real. I've always wanted to know what this meant, so if anyone knows, please enlighten me.

 

Published in Diary
Monday, 29 December 2014 12:26

Anxiety Story Secondary School

i then went onto secondary school , which i was very anxious about which it is for any child , who is starting big school , but for people with anxiety disorders its alot worst. 

 Has i had moved house , i was told that i would have to get a coach to school , which added to the anxiety even more,  i would be going out of my hometown to get to school , i remember standing at the bus stop and dreading having to get on the coach but i wasnt to bad has i made a friend while standing at the bus stop which made me feel so much better , and we were both nervous and in the same boat so i didnt feel completely alone . after a few months of being there i lefted that school has i started bunking & not wanting to go , i didnt enjoy the whole travelling experience it wasnt for me , so i then went to a local school thinking that it might be the solution , it was okay for a while , but i then starting bunking school again , it was literally around the corner from me , so i could walk it,  but for some reason i was terrified of walking to and from school on my own, leaving the front door was so hard , even meeting a friend was difficult, i remember my mum telling my friend to go on without me, has i was just to scared to get up and go, i froze i didnt want to move , i remember just laying in my room crying and scared cause i didnt want to go school . it soon became obvious to the school , that something wasnt right , i remember being called to the headmasters room for a meeting with my mum , i just sat there crying and scared and there were asking me questions and i couldnt answer them , like why i didnt want to go to school? but i didnt know myself , i had no reason to not want to go, i just didnt know why i was, the way i was.

& before i know it the anxiety was getting worst and the only time i felt better, was when i was at home away from everyone. so thats what i did i locked myself every from everyone , so i didnt have to deal with the anxiety, it was like the only way i felt i knew how to deal with it at the time,  i was then admitted to child mental health to see a therapist, i was there til i was 16 or 17 , i was doing so well i was going out , making friends , and doing what i loved i was living my life i managed my prom i was so happy and then it all went down hill , when i lefted school ,  i was 16 at the time and i relapsed really badly , just out of the blue, has all the support i was getting from the school stopped and my mental health support & my support from connexions also stopped not long after  , has i had hit that age where i was no longer a child, i had to be referred to adult mental health, for more therapy and to yet be dianosged , but in the mean time things were really bad , i started to pushing friends and family away , everyone who cared for me & loved me i pushed away no one didnt anything horrible to me. it was me i was going through this really bad time and everything started to fall apart , i was feeling every emotion you could think off  , and none of my friends could understand why i was doing this , has i never said anything to my friends about my struggle with my mental health, i kepted it a secret , so i was completely on my own at this point , and i stopped leaving the house , all i would do is sleep and cry.  

Published in Diary
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