I have been suffering with anxiety most of my life. What started out as a generalized anxiety disorder over the years and due to certain traumas has become a full-blown PTSD, with panic attacks, agoraphobia etc. Basically I have an anxiety salad with all the fixins.
Over the last 10 years I have worked hard to gain control over my anxiety. (Which sometimes means submitting to it). I have done a lot of introspection to find, identify and ultimately avoid my triggers. I have participated in hours of cognitive behavioral therapy to desensitize my impulse to panic. I have learned to accept my anxiety (at a certain level) as a part of who I am. It does not make me less, it just makes me different, part of a special population… In some ways, it even makes me more.
Most crucially I have learned the importance of daily maintenance and healthy coping strategies as they can have cumulative outcomes.
But I\’m only human. The past six months I have been feeling so well, on some level maybe I thought I was cured. Yesterday, all of the anxious avoidance, and the maintenance I hadn’t been doing quite literally walked through the front door of my apartment and knocked me down onto the floor. I fainted for the first time in six years. I couldn’t breathe or leave my house. Thankfully I have family close by who was able to help. By help I mean sit there and hold me while I shake and cry and fight for breath until it passes. It really has knocked me down a couple of notches.
Searching for its purpose has, in the past been very therapeutic for me. Looking at this last episode under the light of a new day, I see now why it happened. I see what my body and my psyche needed to tell me. I have been spreading myself thin, helping and moving, and scheduling according to the needs of others. I have been going against my own grain.
I also feel comfortable enough to reach out to all of you, for the first time. So thank you for sharing your stories and your energy (because when you have anxiety, energy is precious).
Peace & Blessings!