My experience with anxiety has been crippling. Its kept me housebound for long periods of time, feeling like some kind of alien and has ensured that the most simple of tasks became somewhat impossible. During my most challenging time I was having up to 20 panic attacks a day, in a constant state of flight/fight/freeze mode and leaving the house was not something I could do. I was trying to fight for my life, my body had stopped working, I couldn’t eat, pass a bowel movement, the fatigue kept me glued to my bed, my thyroid and hormones were imbalanced and despite seeing numerous medical specialists nobody could tell me what was happening to my body. My family unit had fallen apart, I could no longer work or support myself, my friendship circle had all but disappeared, and I had absolutely no control over any part of my life. Anxiety had every right to be there.
I have always been an ‘anxious’ person- a constant over thinker, hyper vigilant to other peoples words and actions, super sensitive in my emotions, and overly critical of every action I make and word that comes out of my mouth. I’ve lived in my head for much of my life, trying to carefully plan everything out to avoid any unnecessary disruptions, trying to play it safe and do what was expected of me. While ever I had this plan in place I was safe. If I knew what was coming I was fine and I adopted many strategies to calm myself throughout the day and night when things got a little rocky. If I could control most of the details of my life there would be no chance of things falling apart – of me falling apart. But things didn’t go according to plan, and there was no way I could continue to live my safe little life. The wheels fell of, many times and with it depression and then anxiety became my new best friends.
While anxiety has done its best to freeze me in time, to keep me scared and small, to stop me from living the life I really want to live, its also given me much much more. Anxiety, has been a blessing- because I’ve chosen to see it that way. Its forced me to confront myself, my life, my patterns of behaviour and thinking, as well as the quality of my self talk. Its given me the skills to really change the way I talk to myself, care for myself and see myself. Anxiety- when I let it be, when I surrendered to it, instead of beating myself up for having it- was very much the precursor for turning to a LOVE based life, and for turning to God.
My anxiety for the most part has disappeared- it no longer greatly impacts my life to the degree that it once did. And I believe thats because of several factors- my gut health and overall health have been rectified, I’m living my life the way I want while also being more present, I’ve made peace with myself and my past, and my self talk has gone from worrying and fretful thoughts to filling my mind with thoughts that are actually helpful, to talking often to God knowing that He will guide and support me through life. But there are times when it comes back, sometimes I struggle with the most basic things- talking to people, catching public transport, driving in unfamiliar territory. It surprises me to say, that I’ve not experienced any anxiety about trusting that God is in charge, that He has and is about to deliver me miracles beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t feel anxious about these really big things that are happening in my life- like not having a permanent home, a car, a job, cash flow, permanency in the things that I could once never have imagined letting go of. Its a big deal to let go and surrender everything to the Universe, especially with my history of trying to control and plan. But really, I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. Its the safest place to be.