"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
- Winston Churchill
When I was 19, just when I was about to fall asleep one night, this strange feeling came over me. It was terrifying. I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was the flu, but along with physical symptoms - my mind was going nuts. A concoction of feelings I had never before felt.
I went to the doctor and I was told that I had experienced a panic attack.
So there began my intimate dance with anxiety.
There have been long periods of time where I haven't feel any anxiety at all. Then there have been times where it is so consistently prevalent that I feel like I might burst into a million pieces. If you experience anxiety, you know what I am talking about.
In this dance, I have found many tools to use when I feel anxiety tapping on my shoulder (EFT, meditation, yoga, eating healthy, energy work, etc..). If you have any questions about these, I’m here!
I have been told by just a few people that I have no reason to be anxious because of my life's circumstances. I have been laughed at (only a couple of times) for experiencing anxiety (and depression) and it hurt. But mostly I have been embraced, comforted and validated. This is major… With any mental-health issue. Validation is so crucial.
From my experience I have found that there is circumstantial anxiety and then there is anxiety that just chooses to show up while someone is grocery shopping, driving, sitting at home or doing other mundane activities. No matter the cause, the feeling is real in the moment one is experiencing it.
So please(!), if you are experiencing anxiety reach out to someone you trust (or a therapist) and allow them to be there for you. And if you know anyone who experiences anxiety (or depression), let them know you’re there to listen (and/or find them the help they need). This is not to dive down a worm hole, but to face and acknowledge it with courage.
Anxiety has taught me how to care for myself in a way I never knew before. Anxiety has helped me see that I needed to change direction or negative habits in my life. It has brought me to such a low place that now the light is that much stronger. It has given me the honor of being there when any of my brothers or sisters of the world are in it - because I understand it.
It’s a strange phenomenon. Something that can leave me feeling so separate has been a true catalyst for connection with others.
How beautiful is that?!
The major life changing thing for me was finding that I just needed to TALK ABOUT IT. Seriously. It’s that simple. I started talking about it.
Has it completely gone away? No.
Will it visit from time to time throughout the rest of my life? Probably.
Talking about it has allowed me to accept it and feel more freedom from it. Of course, in the beginning it was important for me to have discretion on how I shared and with whom I shared. But now, I’m out of the closet ;) I actually enjoy talking about it. It’s like the elephant in the room that everyone relates to, but doesn’t want to face.
Embrace the anxiety elephant!
The more we see and welcome it as a teacher, the less space it will take up in these beautiful lives we all have!
Go on with your courageous lion heart.
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
With love and anxiety ;)