It’s true. In fact it’s one of the hallmarks of people who suffer from anxiety or panic disorder. They burn through more energy in a day than the average person does in a week. I know, because I have fought the internal battle for over 25 years now. I’ve spent countless hours thinking and rethinking about nearly every little thing in my life. I’ve planned, and cancelled, and planned and cancelled more times than I can count. Why? Simply because the anticipation of any event big (a trip overseas) or small (a trip to the grocery store) would send me into overdrive trying to figure out how I was going to be able to manage it without having a full on meltdown. It leaves you feeling exhausted, and sometimes it’s hard to get through the day without having to stop and sleep mid-way through. It also leaves you thinking “why the fuck is this happening to me?”
There are thousands of websites, blogs, articles, books, and programs all geared to those who suffer from anxiety. Some promise a miracle cure, and let’s just say that when you are in the grip of anxiety, you’ll try anything just to get rid of it. I know, because I’ve been through pretty much every type of treatment and therapy there is known to mankind. I did gain some good insight and gathered some good tools to help me cope – but in the end, I never did fully recover. I still struggle, and I still wish it would magically disappear. But I’m a realist (sometimes), and I now know that I have been dealt a hand that I need to live with. Amazingly, once I came to understand that and accept it, I started to feel less anxious, and more able to live my life without constantly thinking “what if”?
I’m discovering that I am most certainly not alone in my anxious world. I started to post quotes and links to articles about anxiety on my Facebook page. This opened up a number of discussions with people from different areas of my life around the disease. They all shared something in common with me, they were anxious as fuck and couldn’t figure out why. Without opening myself up by sharing those things on social media, I would have never known that these people were suffering too. Unfortunately, anxiety still has a stigma around it and I find that people don’t openly discuss it. I think we mistakenly believe that our family, friends and peers think that if you are anxious, you are fearful and weak. If you are anxious, you are not capable. If you are anxious, you are crazy. If you are anxious, you are unreliable. If you are anxious, you’re a loser. What they’re really thinking is I wish I could help, I wish I understood.
I’m writing this blog as a part of my own process of coming to terms the disease. But more importantly, I’m writing it because I believe I have good things to share about living a fulfilling life while embracing the fear, hence the title – Fantastically Fearful. Ha! What an oxymoron that is! Well it’s true, and it’s possible – you can live a fantastic life while being incredibly fearful. I know, because I’m doing it. In future blogs I will share some of my story along with some tips that I found helpful in coming to terms with my anxiety.
Here’s tip #1 – Do not do hot yoga. Don’t do it!!! I made the mistake of doing it tonight. If you are an anxiety or panic sufferer, there is nothing worse than being trapped in a hot, sweaty room for an hour trying to breath. I thought I was going to lose it. I didn’t, and I rarely do, but man was I close. Do yourself a favor and just don’t do it.