Acknowledging Anxiety and learning how to live with it…

“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”
It took a while for me to admit I have issues with Anxiety. When my doctor diagnosed me and suggested I take something for it, even THEN I hesitated and it took me a while to start. Once I did I realized it wasn’t working for me. I felt foggy and with a toddler it just wasn’t the best route for me. After about a year I decided to get off of them and pursue other ways to live with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder).
Although I have many emotional and physical symptoms, I have discovered things that help and make life with GAD a bit more bearable.
1. I NEED a creative outlet- I need to write, I need to create things with my hands.
2. I need to workout. The gym has been MAJOR for me in this battle. When I set physical goals and focus on progress and pushing myself, I am a better ME.  A good work out releases natural feelings of well being and happiness into the brain that lasts through the day.  It allows me to cope in a healthy way.
Of course there are tough days. Recently I had a day where I just could not stop crying. All day.  Those days can feel ridiculous because I KNOW that it’s my anxiety flaring up and there is little I can do but to just ride the wave. That night before bed I just meditated and prayed and reminded myself that I had long ride of good days before and that I am only human. Tomorrow was a new day and I could stay stuck or I could do everything I could to start fresh.
Anxiety isn’t something that’s easy for people to understand and I feel like as time goes on and people become more aware and more knowledgeable about this disorder that’s affecting SO many people, just as many are feeling alone and struggling to deal with something that many people will still refuse to acknowledge.
No I don’t hate myself.
No I don’t ever have thoughts of suicide.
No I don’t ever think about self harming or hurting anyone around me.
I want to say I am one of the lucky ones. My GAD is mild compared to some.  I worry. More than most people and with more urgency than most people. It’s always the worst case scenario running through my mind on a loop.  I have a hard time dealing with everyday stress, but I have found things that make it easier and  I can go weeks, without an episode. There are some that struggle daily with no support. I guess that’s why I feel it so important to be so transparent about my journey with this disorder. Its important to find what works for you and to seek support. I am still learning and figuring this out… by no means do I have this down to a science yet… but I am working on it.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Anxiety and Depression , know that you are NOT alone. Know that there are things you can do and routes you can take that are right for YOU. Know that you are worth pursuing and fighting for  happiness and wellness in your everyday life and that it is achievable.

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