Not everyone who knows me would know; I struggle with anxiety. I try to deal with it, but I will confess, I'm not good at handling my anxiety every second of every day. There are days I just can't, it consumes me. It drains me. Living with anxiety is hard. It's sneaky and hard to detect. You can have it for years and never realize what it is. The best way I can explain anxiety is sort of like this quiet voice in your head that is constantly whispering all of your insecurities and your deepest and most irrational fears. You may not hear where it's coming from or who is saying it, but you hear it constantly and you start to believe it. Anxiety may not always be there all the time, for everyone. For me, there are times it's worse than others. Then there are the times I feel the doubt creep in and the darkness all but swallows me up. I can barely breathe. The previous "what ifs" suddenly turn into "when".
"When will those I love realize how much of a mess I am, and stop loving me?"
"When I try, I'll just fail."
"When is she going to see how unlovable I really am?"
"When am I going to lose it all?"
Suddenly, I am my own worst enemy. I beat yourself up about everything and a simple criticism or someone pointing what I'm doing wrong turns into tears. Sometimes, I even hate myself but I don't tell anyone because they wouldn't understand. So, I just leave the overwhelming chaos and illogical fears and that whispering voice in my head and carry on. I keep the anxiety bottled up until the next time it overflows. But, despite how deep the darkness takes me, I always pull myself out.
I tell myself all situations are temporary. Nothing lasts forever, change is inevitable.
There is no wrong decision. There are a million different decisions that all have different outcomes. The best thing is just to choose one.
I think about all the difficult moments from my past, I survived them and I'll survive this too.
I seek stillness. Sometimes this is running miles, showing up for yoga or a lazy night in. But I have to choose to focus on one thing at a time.
I stop and think of what is going right in my life.