Anxiety Disorder has a different effect on each person who is living with it. How our anxieties came to fester, and how we manage it, stands apart from the next person. Some use organic outlets like healthy eating, exercise, and meditation. Some utilize medicine to keep their symptoms in check. Other people seek out therapy through talk or cognitive approaches. Some of us utilize all of these methods. Some do not treat their anxiety at all, and many people have no idea that they are even suffering from it. It’s a dark battle, dealing with a mental illness, and the one thing we can all agree on is this, it’s hard and sometimes managing it can be even harder.
Our healing journeys begin the moment we refuse to allow our anxiety to control our lives. What ever method we utilize, we do it with a purpose. To keep moving forward, to never give up. For us, and for those we love. To let go of the fear, the worry, and the anger that consumes who we are. To build a new us, a stronger us. To be able to live a simple day without evacuation plans, emergency packs, lists, perfect order, and sound structure. To let all of that go and keep it from dictating our every move. To be okay with not being in control, sometimes.
Some may be in the beginning stages of managing your anxieties. Don’t lose that confidence and don’t give up. There will be times when you feel like it’s not working. Some days it won’t. That’s the difficult truth about opening up to healing. You won’t ever, fully be healed. But the weight will lift a little bit, and you’ll see the sun shine brighter on some days. You’ll experience a slower day than normal and it will be so refreshing. You’ll get a glimpse of freedom here and there. Hold on to those days when it crashes back down, for those moments will be your motivation to keep going.
Some will have found your relief, for now. Keep chugging forward. You have made it so far and you are doing so great. Soak it in and let it recharge you. Take on the world at a slower pace and breath in the calm. Build up that love you feel for yourself and store it away. Use it when the darkness crawls back in. Wrap it around you like a blanket and keep your soul alive.
Some of you don’t know where to begin, or even what is wrong. You are confused and you just don’t know what is real and what is not. Is this anxiety, is this something else? Open yourself up to your emotions and trust your gut. If something feels off, follow it. Follow it until you find it, and then figure out how to calm it. Don’t drown in the unknown, and don’t allow it to consume you. Take charge!
Then there are the rest of us, trying desperately to swim out of the deep end. Who have found relief a time or two, yet fall back into the depths of the dark, re-searching your next method of calm. Trying desperately to stay afloat. Looking for the next break in the storm. Just when you had a hold of it, it drags you below again. After just finding land, you’re on that sinking boat again, just wondering how the hell you got there. You were dry, and now you are soaking wet, drowning once more.
The dark, angry waves swallow you up and they show you no mercy. A continuous method of attack by the same storm. It finds you and lures you out to sea. In confidence, you sail to the horizon in the calm waters, as the sun sets. Then, it returns, in the dark of night. Your sails ripped to shreds by the treacherous winds. The boards crack beneath your feet from the powerful waters. The waves reach up like hands and it rips you from safety, engulfing your ship with you. And you’re pulled down, down, down again.
So, you start swimming, and you keep swimming, because you are afraid of what lies beneath. You fear the darkness that is waits for you below. So you fight to stay afloat. You struggle to breathe. You give it everything you’ve got. You fight harder through old coping strategies, and your hands shake as you agree to new ones. You’ll do anything if it saves you. Saves you from your past, from the dark side of your possible future, from the deep end.
You seek out experts, you talk with the experienced, and you even allow those who don’t understand give you advice because you’ll do what ever you need to do to keep going. To swim to the shallows and climb back to land. To feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the sand beneath your feet. To escape the chaos of the storm and spend more time in the calm. To be able to here the birds chirp, smell the flowers, listen to the rain on the window from the comforts of your own, steady shelter. To watch your babies grow, and absorb their giggles, every single day. To be present and not be submerged in fear of the past or the future. To just be here, right here.
So, if you are currently caught in the deep end, just know that you are not alone. There are others, right beside you, fighting to stay afloat. We are all there, holding on deeply to our last breath, desperately trying to swim out of the deep end.
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