It’s 11:03 at night and i’m still up. Not because I have work to do, or there is a lot of noise in my house. I’m up because I just can’t sleep. As I type this I’m drinking tea in hopes that it will relax me. Because I have anxiety. This is actually a very personal topic for me. But I feel like I really want to make a post on it in case there is anyone else out there who secretly suffers from this. I say secretly because this is not something that I discuss openly with people. I wasn’t brought up in an environment that you can’t talk about everything that’s going on with you. I have always had a problem with anxiety, but I can say it hasn’t affected me in such a noticeable way until recently. It just occurred to me tonight that I should try to do something about this instead of suffering in silence.
As I said before I have suffered from mild anxiety all my life, but it has recently become more serious. I know that this is due to the fact that I have had a lot of very stressful events in my life this past year. I am also in the process of making some major changes so there is always something to think about. But that’s how life is. You can’t control when or how things happen. Accepting that I could not completely control my life was the first step in addressing my problems with anxiety. I understand how this can be the most challenging obstacle of all for many people because when we see something in our life that needs improvement, we instantly start trying to plan ways to “correct the problem”. It is only natural to want to change a situation for the better of ourselves and our loved ones. But you have to accept that there are things in life that we cannot control. Now by no means am I saying that a person with anxiety should give up control. GOD KNOWS I could never do that. I’m simply saying that one should make the effort not to think about everything that is wrong at once.
Upon seeing me stressed out I have had people tell me to just calm down and let it go. I remember thinking, ” How can I calm down? ” Let go of what?” My life ??? I still don’t see how some people can just not worry about the future. But what I did take from their advice is the fact that even though I will never be able to let go of worrying about everything, I can try to let go of most of it.
Ugh! I’m trying to compose my thoughts in a way that is useful/helpful..bare with me if you can. I’m getting to the point soon.
What I’m trying to say is that people with anxiety have it for a reason. I don’t want anyone going around feeling guilty about it the way I did. I was raised in a Christian home and attended Catholic school. Religion is the one thing that can save you, but often it can also be the one thing that will damn you. In religion, it seemed whenever I had a problem, or a question about my life the answer was ask God. Trust in God. And I do. But I’m still only human. The anxiety of being unsure about life in general is experienced by everyone at one point or another. But certain extreme events in a person’s life will sometimes cause it become a regular occurrence. I’m not going to go into things that have happened to me, but I can say that the last thing a damaged person needs to hear is that everything is somehow their fault. We are not in control of things that happen to us. Therefore, we cannot be solely responsible for the anxiety that we feel. It is a reaction to something. And having anxiety does not mean you are not a ” Good Christian” /whatever your religious beliefs may be. Please don’t EVER let anyone tell you that your anxiety is a reflection on your relationship with your God. Because it’s not. The gilt I felt at “not believing in God enough” only further intensified my anxiety.
Now my life is all wrong and God is probably mad at me too!?! ….does this sound familiar to anyone. It sure does to me. It is PEOPLE who judge us and tell us we are not believing hard enough.God knows exactly what you’re going through/went through that made you the way you are today. God is not mad at you for having anxiety, being depressed, suicidal etc…and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.
Once you realize that anxiety is not your fault you can start to try to recover the parts of your life that are worth living. We are only human. Humans are fragile. There is only so much of something you can take before it starts to show in an emotion, mental, physical way.
Now on to ways of dealing with anxiety. When I stated before that you have to let some things go, I meant that you literally have to let some thoughts go. I know that my thought process is fast, and one thought can lead to about twelve others in the time frame of about thirty seconds. But to lessen the anxiety you have to start thinking about what you’re thinking. This can take some time to get used to. If I start to think about something that might be negative, that’s ok. I let the thought come through. If you try to force yourself to stop thinking about things you will only think about them anyway and then you will start to feel like you failed(and the cycle continues ). One thought is ok, but if I feel like they start to rush at me I actively shut it off. Say to yourself ” It will get better” and then immediately do something physical to get out of your mind. Stand up and walk to another room. Pick things in your home up just to look at them and try to remember why/where you got it. Start taking to someone around or even if you’re by yourself start talking. LOL you’re not crazy…you’re more sane talking yourself out loud about something around you than talking to yourself in your mind about something scary & depressing.
- Turn on some music you like and sing along (preferably happy/upbeat)..but whatever floats your boat
- Turn the t.v to a cartoon you like. So much of what we see in the media today is negative & it affects us whether we know it or not. Things like the news(if its especially depressing like where I live) even reality t.v shows
- do some light exercise
- play with a pet if you have one…
- get a pet (they give so much love)
- Drinking tea is calming.
- Call a friend
Do what makes you happy, whether it be drawing, reading, playing a sport…
And last but certainly not least…BLOG. Blogging is a great way to distract yourself with positive things and organize your thoughts. It can also push you to explore your interests and blog about them.
and its GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL
Well there we have it. This is my story of anxiety and how I’m fighting back. Sorry if this post is overly long, but I just wanted to make sure I covered all the bases. I hope this could help someone : )