19 In Anxiety

In the grip of Anxiety

In the grip of Anxiety

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.

You are not alone

Additional Reading

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

MindSpot www.mindspot.org.au

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    April 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    just want to say, you are awesome.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks lovely lady. As are you!

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    April 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I’m glad you found a way to deal with your anxiety. It’s strange how we feel shame for things most other people are facing too. And such relief when you acknowledge it publicly and loads of people say ‘I feel the same too’!

    I too have found that talking and writing about issues make it much easier for me to face them and conquer them – or at least, start the process!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      I am getting there! Mindfulness is REALLY helping. It is a relief when people also admit they feel anxious. Its actually amazing the amount of people I talk to who admit they never knew what anxiety was BUT that it sounds like how they feel often. And then there are the others – the others who deny it exists or who tell me to take vitamins to cure my problem…each to there own!

  • Marie
    April 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Really well said. I’ve also struggled with anxiety my entire life, only acknowledging it as anxiety at the end of 2013. That was a huge turning point for me and I’ve started to TALK about my anxiety in public, unapologetically, kind of matter-of-factly. And you’re right, a lot of people can relate.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Congrats for reaching that point and speaking out – high five! It’s awesome to meet others doing the same thing 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting x

  • Debbie Rodrigues
    April 16, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    If we only took time to discover and understand who we are, things would be much simpler.
    I am truly thankful every day for the self-discovery experiences I have through Reiki. Life is Beautiful, We are Beautiful, but sometimes we need to be reminded of it.
    Have a Beautiful day!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      So very true Debbie. Thanks for sharing your reflection! Have a beautiful weekend 🙂

  • Marie
    April 17, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Anxiety? Check. Depression? Check. Calling my axiety names? CHECK!
    Thank you for writing about a condition so many of us have in common.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      You’re most welcome Marie 🙂

  • Joy
    April 17, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I agree that recognizing what we have, labeling it, is quite half the battle. It’s a very important step and like you said, there should be no shame in it so it can be addressed. There has always been so much stigma to anxiety and depression but fortunately, with voices like yours, Janine, more light is shed on this conversation. Thank you!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for the constant love and support Joy 🙂

  • cathy
    August 19, 2015 at 9:25 am

    My youngest daughter has been on a similar journey Janine, and after being diagnosed with panic disorder, and realizing what her anxiety was and how to deal with it, through some therapy and a small amount of medication when she needs it, she is doing much better. It was hard for me to watch her suffer, and I was able to celebrate with her when she made such strides in her progress. Thanks for such a thoughtful post. xo

  • SaltyBug
    August 22, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    One of the most powerful things we can do is name it and be honest about it. Having worked with my son for the past few years on his anxiety has been such a gift. I learned so much about his capacity as a toddler to triumph over adversity, and I learned a lot about me as a mother. I too have an anxious personality type and it is a lifelong fight to manage it, but worth it every step. Well done. xx

  • Understanding Anti-depressants - What You Need to Know - Reflections from a Redhead
    May 27, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    […] In the grip of Anxiety […]

  • Conquering the fear of failure - here's how - Reflections from a Redhead
    June 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    […] I know I do! Sweaty palms, increased heart rate, dry mouth, scattered thoughts and sleepless nights, nausea, butterflies or even an upset stomach. When I’m at my worst I suffer the lot. […]

  • The Struggles with Being an Introvert
    July 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    […] and social media has helped to free me from the grips of social anxiety. Behind my laptop screen, no one can see me blush, and no one hears me stutter. I also have the […]

  • 41 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Overcome Anxiety
    July 20, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    […] quotes have also help guide me through the darkest days of my depression and the peaks of my anxiety like a guiding light, holding my hand until I came out the other […]

  • 30 Tips for People With a Mental Illness from Those Who Have Been There - Reflections from a Redhead
    September 12, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    […] suffering from anxiety, depression or another mental illness, there’s one thing you get a lot […]

  • %d bloggers like this: