The breaking out and speaking up that I wrote about in my last anxiety post means that I have something to do and something to say.
I admit that when I wrote that post, I had no idea of what that was or what was to come.
Though I had a sense of what I wanted to say pressuring me to get out, I had no clear idea of what was going to emerge or how.
A guide I wrote a few weeks ago is undergoing a transformation solely based on this emerging sense of needing to say things in a very different way.
Having let go of any idea I had about what the guide was “supposed to be”, it’s now turning into something that gives me hints and ideas about what it wants to be!
The same thing is true about this blog post.
I was lying in bed half awake when it started writing itself in my head. So I put on the kettle, booted up my little laptop, and here it is.
7 Things I Know About Chronic Anxiety
Chronic Anxiety is a get in your face, slap you along side of the head, trip you up, tromp all over you, and kick you to the curb EVIDENCE that something is WRONG, MISSING, or BROKEN in your LIFE type of disorder.
It’s a personal disorder that you can’t take personally.
How you feel about yourself is NOT who you are!
You’ve seen bad shit, had bad shit done to you. Your head has been messed with and maybe your body too. You’ve been chastised, criticized, vilified, nullified, lied to, lied about, used, re-used, and abused.
All this shit has you feeling and believing the wrong things about yourself.
What is wrong can be righted. What is missing can be found. What is broken can be fixed.
But never, never, never underestimate the amount of work, trial and error, and self-reflection that has to be done to recover from anxiety.
That’s because anxiety gets its fuel from the things that cause you shame, guilt, and that affect your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
When you recover from an operation, a broken bone, or a disease like cancer there is pain involved.
When you recover from anxiety there is pain involved because you have to deprive anxiety of its fuel. It’s damn painful doing that and you have a choice to make.
You get to decide whether you want to deal with the ongoing pain of anxiety or deal with the pain of recovering from it.
Anxiety is about you and your life. Though you will get help and inspiration from friends, professionals, strangers, and people like me, the bottom line is: your recovery is in your hands!
Chronic Anxiety is an anti-backwards disorder in that you can NEVER go back to being who you were before anxiety.
That’s because your life “before” anxiety laid the groundwork for it to interfere with your life.
Recovering from chronic anxiety will change you because things have to change in order for you to recover.
In order to recover from anxiety 3 things must be in place. You must –
- Become your own best friend, cheerleader, and supporter,
- Learn to deal with and manage it strategically, and
- Have a “why” you must recover from anxiety that will keep you motivated as you fight the good fight
This may be hard to believe, but . . . anxiety can guide you where you need to go . . . it can shine a light on the things that you need to investigate . . . it is an indicator of how well your strategy is working.
I discovered the helpful part of anxiety when I was struggling to move forward in my professional life. When offered two different choices, the one that made me the most anxious was the one that carried more unknowns with it . . . and the most challenge for growth.
Recovery is possible.
Just be prepared that recovery may find you in a place wholly unexpected by you at the beginning of your journey, knowing more about yourself than you ever imagined, and accepting and loving yourself more than you ever believed possible.
Here’s my strategy for recovering from anxiety.
- Be or become your best friend, the person who is looking out for your interests, the one who encourages you to try new or different ways of dealing with your anxiety. Be nice to yourself. Do nice things for yourself that will deliberately reduce your anxiety.
- Be willing to explore, let your curiosity off its leash, value failures because they show you’re trying.
- Learn to listen to yourself, your intuition, and celebrate your successes – a small win over anxiety is a BIG win for you!
- Set expectations for yourself that enable you, and help you grow. Rigid expectations can keep you stuck and increase anxiety.
- Find techniques and practices that work for you, and put them to work.
My Top 3 Techniques
- Have a mantra. By focusing on a mantra you’re taking back some of your power from anxiety each time you choose your mantra over your anxiety;
- Learn to distance yourself from situations causing your anxiety to rise. Do this through the use of making mental/emotional spaces where you check in with yourself so you can make better decisions; and
- Set yourself up for success which means taking actions to make your life less stressful. Eat well, stay hydrated, get control over your to-do list, and plan your day with the mindset of creating lots of small successes throughout your day.
The One Thing I Know for Sure
If I can recover from anxiety, so can you.
Now go and know that for yourself!