This post comes from a person who has dealt with anxiety for as long as she can remember. It’s not from someone who hasn’t been in the trenches of panic and all the side effects it induces, yet wants to tell everyone else how to live a stress-free life. Nope. This post is from someone who dealt with fear, anxiety, worry, and depression for  years, the last  of those being the worst. This individual got so used to the way she felt that she considered it to just be the way it was going to be, and accepted that these feelings were her lot in life. She called herself an over-thinker, a worry wart, and other pet names to poke fun at what was, in fact, an irrational thought life, one which controlled her, made her dislike social situations or hanging out with groups of people, and kept her from being the kind of person deep down she knew she could be. Her anxiety controlled her. Until one day it didn’t.
This person is me.
I assumed I would always deal with anxiety. I would find myself anxious over absolutely nothing. It’s sometimes kinda like the feeling that you forgot something.
Did I remember my keys?!
Did I turn the stove off?!
I would eventually realize I had not forgotten anything.
At least, I don’t think I did. (Cue increased heart rate).
The way my brain worked said that I had done something wrong, people were upset with me, didn’t like me. If people were whispering I would wonder if it was about me. My logical brain knew it wasn’t. My anxious mind told a different story.
It’s like the dream where you’re naked on stage in front of your peers. But, it’s not a dream. And it’s every day.
I got anxious about problems that didn’t exist. Problems that weren’t even problems. Problems that I created. I worried a lot about finances.
What if I lose my job?
What if I bounce a check?
Pay a bill late?
Go into more debt?
Lower my credit score?!
And on, and on.
I can remember driving to Florida when I first decided to become a travel nurse. As we drove through Birmingham I found myself anxious. I was in a panic as we drove through the city.
What is that smell?!
Oh, gosh, our new truck is going to breakdown! Then what will we do?!