My anxiety started when I was a teenager and I am not fully sure that I understood it at the time. In fact I don’t think I have fully understood it until now. There would be days were it was hard to get out of bed and face the day. Part of that was my depression that I had when I was younger. There were panic attacks when I had to do anything that was out of my comfort zone. I later discover that doing stuff out of your comfort zone takes the fear away. In my twenties and early thirties it would be stress that would trigger my anxiety and then the sleepless nights would start. Once that starts its like a rock going downhill and it is so hard to stop. Taking the time off work helped with the exhaustion but it also create a fear of leaving the house. I had to force myself to leave even if it was just for a little bit. I felt weird out in public and all I wanted to do was get back home to my comfort zone. During this time I figured out my own way of dealing with my anxiety
I have had anxiety for a longtime but it wasn’t until recently that I truly learned how to live with it, maybe it’s my age. I am in my mid-thirties and I finally love the person that I am. Perhaps it’s the medication or maybe all the self reflecting that I have done in the past six months. It could be all of the above but I have found a way to live with my anxiety and be ok with it.
I have found that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders since I have learnt to accept my anxiety as part of me. Accepting my anxiety has taken away the power it has over me. In essences when you stop feeding the beast it becomes weaker. Its still their but accepting it takes its power away.
Making changes in my daily life has helped with keeping my stress levels low, which helps keep my anxiety at bay. I now block off my Sundays as me days, I use those days to do whatever I want. Whether that is doing photography, reading, chilling and watching tv or baking, for me doing something creative helps relax me. On those days that are blocked off as me days I try not to schedule anything on those days. I have learned to say no which isn’t easy as I have a really bad habit of over scheduling myself.
Changing your mindset is also a huge help when living with anxiety. It is really hard to learn how to not sweat the small things or to know when you are having a reaction to something that isn’t normal. This has taken me forever to learn to do this and even now there are somedays were I can feel myself slipping back into that mindset and I just to have to remind myself that I am ok.
What I have found out is that I have to do what works best for me and my mental illness. My goal with sharing my story has always been to end the stigma that is out there. The more we talk about it the less power it has. I will leave you with a favourite quote of mine by Brene Brown. When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story we can write a brave new ending.