” You worry too much.”
“RELAX! would you?”
How many of us have heard this? But what if you can’t relax? What if no matter how much yoga you do, no matter how much time you spend exercising or reading or listening to music, you just can’t stop the thoughts rushing through your brain? And to top it off your heart is racing, your skin is crawling, and no matter what you do you just can not get to sleep.
What if this persistent, seemingly uncontrollable feeling of dread begins to interfere with your daily life? What if you don’t know what to do or what is causing this intense feeling of panic or dread?
If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the over 40 million Americans that are estimated to suffer from some form of Anxiety Disorder. Now this is not meant to tell you what to do, or to diagnose you, or fix it, but rather to let you know that you are not alone and that you can find help.
Let me tell you my story. I am a 29 year old woman who has no kids or long term partner. I live with a roommate that I get along with very well. I have friends and a supportive family. I have a great job that I like and feel supported in. I am financially secure and have no physical health concerns.
But, a few months ago, I took a medical leave from my job. I was a mess. I couldn’t control the overwhelming panic I felt every day. I woke up panicked after tossing and turning all night. I could feel my skin crawling and I wanted to scratch off my skin. I was simply not comfortable in my own body.
I had spent months suffering with some level of this fear. That fear did not go away. I tried a few different medications prescribed by my doctor. I lowered my work schedule. I started yoga. Nothing I tried did anything. And the more I tried and failed, the more desperate I became.
When I took my leave from work, my anxiety had become so debilitating that I was no longer going out with friends, I was isolating in my home, and I would cry for hours daily. I simply could not function. Then I began therapy.
Now, I am not going to tell you it was a magic cure because it wasn’t. I worked hard and fought for my life back. But it wasn’t until I began to accept the feeling of anxiety that I was able to begin to gain some relief.
Anxiety is a feeling, sometimes warranted, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense. But it won’t kill you.
It took me many months of fighting to hit rock bottom and many more to get to where I am now. But I am proud to say that I have my life back. I am working full time again. I see my friends. I go out.
I am still in therapy and I have to work hard to keep balance in my life but I am in control of my life once again. If I can regain control, so can you.