Let's Talk About Anxiety, Baby

June 17, 2017

 

Let's talk about You and Me... Let's talk about all the good things and the bad- okay, sorry.  I got lost in the 90s there for a minute. If you don't get the reference to that song, I am sorry, because the 90s were awesome. But I digress...

 

Lately, I have been coming face to face with a lot of things that are usually easier left swept under the rug.  But now they are out and I am dealing. I have lived with generalized anxiety for as long as I can remember.  My first issues came about when I was four (I know, right?). And being a stressed out four-year-old led me down a path of growing up where I believed how I felt was normal.  I learned to hide my anxiety in front of others really well, only to flip out (or sometimes throw up) before or after doing something that made me anxious (going to a party, speaking in front of the class, sometimes just going to school). I didn't know that it wasn't normal until late in my twenties.  I was called "Type A," "a worry-wart," "high-strung," "a perfectionist," etc.  These are not offensive terms.  I was a great student, I was highly motivated, and I got things done.  The problem was the waking up shaking or not being able to breathe properly or the constant stomach aches.  

 

All of this is leading somewhere, I promise.  

 

In the last two years, I have been determined to figure out how to deal with my anxiety appropriately.  Enter writing novels.  Enter working out.  Enter changing my diet.  And finally, enter taking medication.  I hated that I had to go there.  I didn't want to take a pill.  But you know what?  At some point I had to decide whether I was living the best life I could with my current resources.  I wasn't.  I have a wonderful family, a job I love, the coolest kid in the world, a home I am comfortable in, and I wasn't enjoying any of it.  So I decided to forgive myself for whatever grudge I was holding onto for taking the meds.  I also accepted that I am a better version of myself when my anxiety is more under control.  I'm a better mom, a better wife, a better teacher.  I would like to believe I won't need this medication forever, but I've stopped worrying about it so that I can enjoy my life.  

 

If you read any of my novels, you will see me peeking out from behind the characters who deal with depression, grief, and anxiety.  Writing them has been hugely beneficial for me in just sorting out how it works- getting it all on paper and looking at how it can manifest.  So I hope that if you're out there and you're struggling... you know that it's never too late to get help and start controlling your anxiety instead of it controlling you.  

 

Love & Light to all of you <3

 

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