I have lived most of my life in the grip of anxiety. It controlled my life.
This is something I only acknowledged in 2014 at the age of 36. So I’m well versed yet also new to the whole ‘dealing’ with anxiety.
I have tried many ways to deal with anxiety, some that have helped and others that have held me back.
This is the first major step to dealing with anxiety.
It’s so easy to get caught up with the anxious thoughts and feelings. And then there’s the impact on your body. More often than not you feel like you’re going to die. Or you want to ground to open up and swallow you.
I hated it. It controlled my life. It affected my health. It sabotaged my relationships. It affected everything – my plans, dreams, wishes.
Late last year I decided to grapple it head on. I also decided to speak up and talk about it. This included public speaking.
By dealing with the shame I had felt about my anxiety. The shame of which I hadn’t realised had cast a shadow over my life for such a long time. Through naming the elephant in the room and acknowledging it, well, I started to take the power back.
By acknowledging that anxiety was present was the first step to dealing with it.
The reality is that anxiety doesn’t signal the end of the world (even though it feels like it is). Experiencing anxiety is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Nil. Nadda. Zilch. And a hell of a lot of people suffer from it. People like me. And maybe you. There is even a chance that the person sitting near you also experiences it.
Remember that everyone – everyone – feels anxiety in some degree at some stage of their life. You are certainly not alone.
For more on my personal experiences, read these articles:
If you need immediate assistance or support, please contact one of the services below, or talk to a medical professional or someone you trust.
beyondblue support service phone 1300 22 4636 or email or chat online at www.beyondblue.org.au
Black Dog Institute www.blackdoginstitute.com.au