Piggybacking off of last week’s post here I want to talk about the lie that is anxiety. This is a subject very close to my heart and I have had to repeatedly learn this lesson over and over again. I was diagnosed with anxiety formally back in 2016 after having a panic attack during a wedding reception. Truth be told, I have struggled with anxiety related to body issues since elementary school. The war with my body image has caused me to over think and believe many lies about my existence as a person. I started to believe that I was a mistake or some sort of side show attraction for people to gawk at as they passed by. Anxiety over body image took me to lonely places mentally. To protect myself, I built mental, psychological and emotional walls. Those walls were constructed to help protect myself from self imposed hurt. While struggling with anxiety I managed to grow as a person in my interests and knowledge but I would never try to go any further than what I was good at already. Those walls were limiting but protecting myself was the highest priority. I did not want to put myself in a position to experience hurt because I felt people only judged me based on how I looked. I only managed to become a smidge better when I started to surround myself with people who I felt comfortable with and who made me feel it was okay to let down some of those barriers and stretch those boundaries.
If you find yourself struggling with anxiety while reading this, I want to try giving you a pep talk: Anxiety is a liar. The human brain is incredibly powerful and creative. This includes being able to convince you that you’re being threatened when you aren’t. Anxiety is a natural response that is supposed to act as protection from danger, similar to flight or flight syndrome. But when this goes haywire, it can paralyze you with fear and keep you from trying to better yourself. Anxiety when it is allowed to be left in control will seize control of your thoughts and actions. It is not easy to get it back under control, but it is possible. Yes I still struggle with anxiety to this day and I am still a little bit living in my comfort zone daily. But with medication, therapy and baby steps I look to change that course. The reason why anxiety is a liar is because people are all going through their own problems and issues. You rarely find anyone 100% focused on everything that you do and judging every little nuance of your existence. Even if your brain tells you that the world is out to get you, slowly make changes that will put those fears to bed. Reach out to a therapist, make sure you take medication if you are prescribed to it. Make the best usage of self care that you can. Create a support network of people you trust and respect. See a therapist. I cannot advise seeing a therapist enough. Mental health resources are out there, make the best usage of them because you are more than your anxiety.
Take Care of Yourself