First off, thank you for taking time out of your day to read this post. I’m forever grateful for curious people like yourself. You see, this post is quite personal for me – it’s something that I have refused to write for years. Something I was afraid I would be judged for. It has been my dirty little secret.
For years, I have tried to hide the fact that I have struggled with anxiety. I was ashamed of the fact that I, this incredibly well respected, smart, beautiful girl, was struggling with anxiety. What did I have to be anxious about! Looking back at my first 25 years of life, I can see the anxiety drifting in softly, like clockwork, and then roughly shaking me around until I no longer knew which way was up. Waves of panic attacks, extreme fatigue, and crippling fear of the future were my normal. I was never friends with my anxiety – we were roommates forced to share a room, never getting to know one another, and hating each other to the core. The best part was that I never knew my roommates name until recently. I called her ‘bad boyfriend’, ‘crappy job’, ‘impossible class’, ‘I’m not good enough’, and so on. Her name was Anxiety.
Once I learned her name, I befriended her. Like any good friend, the closer I got with her, the more I understood her. Here is the best thing I’ve learned about Anxiety; it is simply a thinking pattern that you’ve made a habit of following. It’s not incurable and you don’t have to suffer. It is purely a learned behaviour. If you haven’t read between the lines yet, this is really good news.
I want to make sure that you don’t have to hunt as hard as I did to understand your emotions. It took me 25 years to begin to understand myself, my anxiety, and my mind. I wish I had known what I know now when I was starting my first job, buried under a book in University, and navigating social circles in high school. I wasn’t able to find the guide to the Universe back then, so I’m giving you one now.
Seeing as I’ve never been a big advocate for medicating, I’ll be posting regularly on how I overcame my anxiety, what tools work really well, and how you can wake up every day filled with joy and excitement. I promise to stick this out with you, so please, stick it out with me. Even if you don’t struggle with anxiety, please stop by. I continue to use my bible of anxiety tools daily, to keep me in a state of gratitude, peace, and love. Even when I’m not suffering from fear these are essential; it’s so easy to slip out of a habit, and fall back into something that has been ingrained in you for so much longer. I can promise you that there will be work, but it will be such great work. I can promise that some days you’re not going to like what I have to say, and that those are the days that you have too really dig in and stick it out. You are strong, incredible, and brave.
Her name may be Anxiety, but yours is Strength.