A Love Letter to Fellow Anxiety Sufferers

hearts

By luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear fellow anxiety sufferers,

I will first say that I have suffered from an anxiety/panic disorder since I was a child. I’ve had years where it was controllable and then something very stressful would happen and it would return with a vengeance! You  know what I mean. I am telling you this so you know I truly  understand anxiety.   I don’t want to read about anxiety from someone whose never had it, so I wanted all of you to know I have lived it and continue to live with it.

What I want to say to all of you is this:

Don’t be ashamed of your problem. I know I still am and it makes it worse. There are many people who don’t understand what we have and make you feel very small and embarrassed and ashamed. Don’t  let them get to you. They are just too ignorant or uncaring or stupid to even try to  understand. You have no reason to be ashamed.

You feel weak and cowardly sometimes. This is so not true. It takes a huge amount of strength and courage to get through each day feeling the way we do. Even on the days when we are barely functioning, when we’re in the thick of it, we still get through. Give yourself a pat on the back and credit. You are amazing.

Always remember you are not alone in this. There are many, many sites out there to connect to and let you see how many people suffer from this. In fact, it is said that anxiety is becoming an epidemic these days. More and more of us are having problems with this, so don’t feel like you’re the weird one! I remind myself of this often and it makes me feel a little better.

There is nothing wrong with you. You have an anxiety disorder and it’s not your fault. You did nothing wrong to bring this on. Some people are just prone to having this and others aren’t. The same could be said for lots of illnesses. But because it is categorized under mental health, it puts an unfair taint to it. Let’s face it, some think we’re just crazy. We are not crazy. Absolutely NOT. So don’t worry about that and ignore those that make you feel that way.

Always keep hope and faith that things will get better, because they can and will. Read about what causes this (I recommend Claire Weekes books (and yes, this is an affiliate link, which means if you click this and buy one of her  books, I will get a small commission, which is how I’m trying to make ends meet. BUT, I never recommend something I don’t wholeheartedly believe in). It really helps to understand what your body is doing and why you feel the way you do. Her books explain everything in a simple, compassionate way. She also explains her method of curing yourself, which is what I’m working on now. It makes a lot of sense and is certainly worth trying. It’s not a gimmicky cure at all, just a very logical approach to it.

The main thing I want to say is…I feel for you. I wish I could reach out to everyone whose suffering from anxiety and give them a hug, just to make them feel safe and understood. That’s what we need the most. I’m hoping that my blog will be a place for us to gather and share comments and ideas, so we can feel supported. I write about grief and other things here too, but a lot of it is about anxiety. So please come and share your story with me. We need to stick together so that we feel okay about ourselves and feel hopeful. This is such a huge part of recovering…feeling understood and supported.

With much

love and hugs to all of you,

Sheila xoxo

 

 

Why Are We All So Afraid?

fear

Photo by pakron at www.FreeDigtialPhotos.net

People have always had fears. That’s nothing new, but these days it seems there is a tremendous amount of fear going on. So many blogs I read are testimonials to this…people writing about their fears and how it’s affecting their lives.

I’m afraid of so many things. I’m suddenly alone in the world, having lost all of my family in the past nine years, and I’m scared. I feel like a lost child.

I have an anxiety/panic disorder and am also depressed as hell these days and I am so afraid I will never get over it. That I will never be my old self again.

Like everyone else, I worry about money. I worry about getting cancer or something equally fatal. I worry about my cats. And my friends who are having problems. I worry about what’s going to happen to our world. All of which leads, of course, to more fear.

But tonight I had to stop and ask myself…why are we all so afraid? And the answer I came up with is because we all have REAL reasons to be afraid.

The famous Roosevelt quote, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” is thrown around like a magic cure. We just need to say this and believe it and all will be well.

Hmmmm…not so easy.  If you are having horrible money troubles and can see no end in sight, you are going to be afraid. It would almost be weird if you weren’t. There is a REAL reason to be afraid. You might lose everything and end up on the streets.

If someone you love is extremely sick, they might die. Another REAL reason to have fear. So many REAL reasons and seemingly no way to ease our reaction to them. Is it even possible to not be afraid of certain things?

I have read so many self help books on this topic and there is some good advice in some of them. But generally, the tips they give don’t help much when you are in the thick of it. So what’s the answer? Is there one?

I would love for this post to be full of awesome advice on how to get rid of your fears, but it’s not something I’ve conquered, so sorry. I have no answers.

I will say, however, that the one thing that has helped me the most is reading others stories…I am not alone and that is an important reminder. Misery loves company, but not in a bad way, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s more a case of just knowing that others are feeling the same way, which can be comforting. You aren’t crazy or strange.

The other thing that has helped me is having faith that things will be ok. It doesn’t matter where that faith comes from, just that you try hard to believe that things do work out. And they really usually do.

So to all of you who are scared, hang in there. I remind myself that you never know what’s going to  happen next and that it could be something wonderful. We only think about the worst, but we have to realize that good is waiting for us too.

I wish we could all come together for a huge group hug. That we could all connect and feel supported and loved. That would help our fears. I’m hoping that my blog helps you feel supported and connected and that we can help each other in that way.

I am sending out a hug to each and every one of you. May you all have some peace from your fears.

How do you handle your fears…please tell me in the comments. I love hearing from you!

 

 

 

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