It’s time for me to come forward about something. Something I struggle with, but most would never know. Something that constantly interferes with my happy. Something that people are aware of and probably consider a “no big deal” subject. Well let me be clear. It’s a big deal to the people struggling with it.
I have intense anxiety. Anxiety disorder. Worrier syndrome (I made that one up). Whatever you want to call it, I have it.
I’m not sure the root to this need to worry but I know that it is amplified by stress or sudden change. I went through some traumatic childhood and adolescent experiences that I attribute to my anxiety. I witnessed and experienced unfaithful relationships. Little did I know I became a skeptic towards human beings. I saw the worst in the people around me. I assumed people were just going to betray me or hurt me because that’s what had happened in the past.
To protect myself I assumed the worst. I panicked. I became defensive. And I worried to the point of making myself sick.
My symptoms tend to work in cycles. I take too much on and think I can handle it. I then take on small projects and responsibilities as well on top of my main roles in life at the time. As tasks pile up I become withdrawn and moody. I am irritable and quick to frustration overload. Then come the tears. One small thing, often a reaction from something someone says, triggers an anxiety explosion. My mind takes that small thing and blows it up, spins, twists, and manipulates it until it seems life or death. At this point, if I allow the thoughts to continue, the sick stomach begins. I dry heave. I hyperventilate. My crying becomes uncontrollable and my thoughts continue to spiral. The smallest thing breaks me.
How is this possible? Anxiety. A struggle that many people deal with daily. I realized I struggled with this my senior semester of college. I took too much responsibility on and a huge change was coming up: graduation. It meant moving away from the place I had called home for the last four years. Leaving my best friends.
So I did what I thought was best. I chose to be proactive in my own life. I saw a counselor. I talked everything out for a few weeks. I learned some strategies for when I felt an attack coming on. And I moved on.
I have gone back once since and have reaped the benefits from it. There is something exhilarating about talking out the thoughts that are always swirling and spiraling out of control in my mind.
The reason I share this stems from my desire to make a difference in people’s lives. To help people understand that it is ok to be imperfect. To have flaws is normal. The journey to happiness comes from realizing that you are struggling, and asking for help. Don’t be so full of pride that you bury yourself in your own struggles. Take a chance and make the choice to be happy. Do whatever you must to ensure you are always striving for happiness.
I also shared because this is the reason for my blog. I recently finished up another round of counseling and feel centered and confident. Writing keeps me on course. Thank you for reading, if you have ever had struggles please know you are not alone. Remind yourself it’s ok to be happy.