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Introducing, My Anxiety!
I tell new friends, “I wasn’t always like this!” Like what, you’re wondering? Bankrupt of hope. Convinced of my imminent failure. Doomed.
I once had it all; I played piano and cooked in restaurants, and made many people happy, and then one day, I went to jail, and just one and a half years later I emerged a shadow of my former self. Stripped of my dignity, confidence, and self-worth, I sought out and entered a homeless shelter near my parents, who were eager to have me near and always happy to lend me a hand, but not ready to welcome their convict daughter into their home.
Not much was expected of me at the shelter, but the one requirement the new terrorist in my head just KNEW I couldn’t handle was getting a job. And he loved to constantly remind me of the fact that I was now a convicted felon; unhireable, undesirable, and he was right!
Read more: My Worst Enemy – Anxiety
My anxiety would start as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, the despair and helplessness swept in, and, cloaked in my armor of shame and doom, I set out to try and re-insert myself into polite society.
I left countless interviews by suddenly rushing out in tears; terrified, confused, and unable to communicate.
My family was patient, loving, and supportive; my probation officer was kind and clear on the terms of behavior she expected of me; my counselor at the shelter never pushed, but gently suggested I investigate the mental health services when she would see my anxiety and depression dissolve me into a frightened, confused, sobbing mess every week.
Read more: How Spirituality helped me Overcome Anxiety
You see, I never knew what it was like to suddenly have to learn to deal with anxiety and depression now riding shotgun with me; weighing me down with hopeless and unshakeable terror at anything that came my way. It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, calling and asking for help, but I knew I didn’t feel right and was ready to trust that a doctor could help untangle me and my anxiety.
It didn’t happen overnight, I can’t even tell you when I finally realized my shoulders weren’t up to my ears anymore or the fact that I hadn’t been consumed by my tears or my fears all day.
I couldn’t have done it on my own, I had so many caring and supportive people in my corner, but what I DID do all on my own was to get the help I needed, and I will never look back or regret that choice.