I’m dealing with anxiety for about 4 years. At first, I just couldn’t accept it was happening to me. I felt ashamed, broken and I’ve locked myself in the house so no one could see my pain. The first time I saw my therapist we tried to make a difference between who I was before and who I was after having to deal with anxiety. At the end of the session she told me “You should be greatful for your anxiety. It comes as a blessing”. I did not understand her words back then and I kept on feeling cursed, rather than feeling blessed.
It took me a while and countless therapy sessions, but a few months ago I came to notice the huge difference she has seen during our first session.
So how did anxiety save my life?
Physical health. Before having anxiety I was an overweight student, eating mostly junk food, trying to mix two jobs and school, while drinking and doing recreational drugs. Anxiety made me become aware of all the wrong choices I’ve been making. In not more than a couple of months I’ve lost over 35 lbs just by quitting on junk food and soda. I also started to exercise on a daily basis, knowing that physical effort makes our brains release endorphins. I’m still cooking all of my meals and I try to keep a healthy diet. Exercising is part of my daily routine and I’m so grateful for it every single morning.
Loving more. During a panic attack or simply a bad day, everything seems unsatisfying and off. Therefor, I decided that whenever I have a good day, I will focus on showing and feeling as much love as I can. You know, just to make up for the bad days. It works wonders. Now everytime I have a bad day I just think about how much love there is and I know I will be able to feel it again soon.
Loving myself. While fighting depression and/or anxiety, your self imagine tends to be very distorded from reality. Loving yourself seems impossible and irrational. How could you love your shettered self, with so many flaws? The truth is it was very hard for me to realize that I’m good enough just as I am and these issues don’t define me. I am who I am and after 4 years of fighting I came to peace with the fact that I am indeed doing my best every single day. I learned not to look at the outcome that much, but at the effort I’m putting into something and I appreciate myself for trying every time I do so.
Anxiety and depression come as burden and can influence our lives in so many ways. Fortunately, even though the fight may seem hard at times, we have the power to learn from our experiences. Now I understand why my therapist was right. I would have been probably in a lot worse situation if I haven’t had to deal with anxiety and the ocassional depression that comes with it. Being overweight, drinking and doing drugs seem a lot more terrifying than anxiety at this point. I truly believe that these issues come out as a warning and won’t go away until the lesson wasn’t learned.