My life with anxiety
by Boboh Posted on 07-06-2018
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For the longest time ever, I thought I was going crazy. I overthought just a little bit too much. I scrutinized just a little bit too much. I over planned just a little bit too much.  I thought about the negative outcome in every situation. I convinced myself something horribly wrong was always about to happen and the only thing that made me feel safe was worrying. I thought people were always judging and talking about me. I thought my life was just about to end hence I had to prepare for it. I felt the need to finish up everything I needed to do all at once; this gave me unexplainable anxiety. My whole life was one great sea of wishful thinking “I could have said this instead of that” “I could have bought this instead of that”. I created problems where there were none. I had restless nights. I feared sleeping because I worried what would happen to all the things that I worried about. I feared they would pile and now I had to worry three times my normal worrying. I would wake up from a nap with fear and a racing mind. My brain never stopped thinking.

I believed no one wanted to be with me and if by any chance anyone showed interest, then they had decide to settle for the least; me. I believed by being with me they are doing me a favor therefore I always felt indebted. I felt every misunderstanding, every fight; every drift in my relationship was caused by me. I always thought they want to break up with me so I would start doing things to prevent the “break up” only to jeopardize the whole relationship. I would analyze every text, every emoji, every blue tick, every second that passes without getting a reply and then make a conclusion: He has left me. I made apologies for things I thought I did wrong; only that it made me look insecure, a No 5 clinger and a Psycho. I clung onto relationships that obviously were not right for me. I feared getting into a serious relationship because I thought down the road my feelings for them would fade and I would hurt them. I worked tooth and nail to keep any relationship alive. I always believed eventually they would find someone better, someone more interesting, someone more loveable; I did not believe in myself.  My self-esteem was at zero. I believed I did not deserve to be happy.

Change was big NO for me. I wanted to remain in a comfort zone forever. I took the world too seriously. I felt the need to share my problems with every Tom Dick and Harry. This just messed me up. Going through the everyday simple things of life was a huge task to me. I neglected to do the basic things like laundry or cooking a meal. I would feel my stomach growling but did not have the willpower to get up and make something to eat. My house was a huge mess. I would purposely make myself busy on holidays to avoid spending time with family, it was just too much for me to handle. I did everything with a calculated plan and if it never went my way, I would confirm my fears; I was not in control therefore I need to worry about the things yet to happen.

I was a people’s pleaser. I felt the need to make everything perfect and everyone happy at the expense of my happiness and peace of mind.  I felt validation from people would make my life better. I felt like a burden for my simple existence; like I always inconvenienced everyone. I felt my opinions did not matter. I always put myself last after everyone else has had their share of satisfaction. I believed I was born to be second.

Decision Making was my hardest struggle. I never seemed to choose what I wanted even when buying a simple item like a shoe. Sometimes I would buy something but at the back of my mind I already knew I will return it. I will even start planning on the date I will return it while I am on the line to the cashier paying for it. Sometimes I would start out on high power, then just crash and don’t even enjoy what I have spent weeks/months planning. I felt the need to always explain myself for everything even a simple reason as to why I exist. I never looked at things on the surface, I always convinced myself there is a deeper meaning, a more serious explanation and if I did not get to the core of it, it will come back to me in future hence I would start worrying and preparing for it.

I wondered how other people lived effortlessly without having to worry over everything. A normal life crisis to me was like an iceberg. My fear for the future was untold. My past mistakes kept replaying in my head. I felt one day they would come back and affect my then life, hence I would try and prepare how to handle them when they did eventually come back. They never did.  I could not enjoy happy moments because at the back of my mind I knew they were just there for a short period of time so I would start preparing on how to live once the moment passed. If I was not worrying I believed there was something amiss and felt not in control of my life so I would start worrying that there is nothing to worry about. My life was one boring mess with no meaning.

I drove people away because neither I nor they could understand why I was doing some of the things I did. I would cancel dates or outings on last minute with no reason. It just overwhelmed me that I would be out with my friends, then I would start getting bored, then I would need to go home, then it would be late, I would inconvenience them, I would have wasted my night…I just couldn’t handle all this. In short, optimism was a never heard before vocabulary for me.

Part of me pretended to be normal; part of me struggled to keep it together. I smiled but inwards I was a total mess. I was once happy with life but slowly my life was betrothed to worry. I traced back and realized at some point in my life I had felt the same way but at a smaller scale. So there had to be a reason why I behaved the way I did.

After many years of soul searching, googling and somehow learning to live with my weird self, it hit me; I actually have a condition.  I went through every symptom, every situation, and every testimony and for the first time ever I was able to actually relate withy myself. I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) you see, unlike other anxiety disorders, People with GAD cannot point out exactly what is causing the anxiety. Everything triggers it. We experience persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about issues like money, health, family, work, relationships, and life in general. We just don’t know how to stop the worry cycle, which is beyond our control.

For me it was a relief to learn about this; for a moment I was able to understand how I did the things the way I did. I was able to explain the constant throbbing headache. I was able to explain my always racing mind. I was able to explain my actions. I knew why I made wrong choices. I learnt I was normal. I accepted I had a problem. I had created my own suffering.

Don’t let anyone fool you. There aren't any miracle quick-fix cures or “secret remedies or formulas" that eliminate anxiety. You may try taking anxiety relievers but these are just short term remedies which if not controlled can lead to addiction and mess you up the more. Overcoming anxiety disorder requires making healthy behavioral change. That only occurs through guidance, effort, and perseverance. 

Throughout the months, I have tried adopting some changes and as much as my anxiety has not completely disappeared, I have managed to control it at great lengths. 

First and foremost learn to let go of everything and just let God. That relationship that keeps you awake at night? Let it go and just go with the flow. Trying to think about everything at once? Let it go and live one day at a time. Letting go also means putting God in the middle of everything you do. Don’t cling on God, you may let go, let God cling on you. One sure thing of allowing God to cling on you is even when things are out of control and you feel yourself draining, there is this unexplainable peace that settles in your heart and you just know that things will be alright. That’s the joy of knowing Christ. Take action and try as much as possible to get out there and have fun. Get consistent quality sleep. We always undermine the power of a good night sleep. Exercise more often, Eat right, give others and situations a benefit of doubt among other things.

Controlling anxiety means I can now have guilt free fun with my friends. I can effortlessly get a call at 1.00am for a hangout and I will actually take time to dress up, put my make up on and dance the night away. I can comfortably take a week-long vacation without wondering how my life will be dull after the vacation or how many things will go wrong by me going. I can stand up to anyone trying to belittle me or make me feel inferior. I am able to I learn that no one really has the time to obsess over you or judge you. I can ask for what I want when I want it. And most importantly I can live one day at a time. 

At times bouts of fear and uncertainties may hit you but step by step you are able to overcome them, create a little haven for yourself and enjoy it until your next hit.

 




   

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