"Voices" May 2018
During the summer of 2017 my anxiety got out of control. It wasn’t just something I got every now and then. It began to take over my life. I couldn’t simply go to the store, talk on the phone or even leave my house without “preparing” myself to do so.
It took me awhile to even notice how bad it had gotten. I remember one day in particular I found myself deciding when I was going to mow the lawn based on when I knew there wasn’t a chance of running into any of my neighbors. After subconsciously deciding this…I remember just stopping and thinking “why the hell am I doing this?!”
I was terrified of the idea of possibly talking to people. Even just small talk. I feel embarrassed admitting all this because I know logically how ridiculous this fear sounds, but this is the reality I lived in for 3 straight months until I did something about it.
Once I took a step back and realized how bad my anxiety was I began trying different things to fix it. First I spent time trying to figure out where this fear was coming from. I’ve always been quiet and tended to keep to myself, but this was a completely different level of that. Why were these simple every day things not easy anymore?
I think I just had this deep rooted fear that every one around me was judging me. That I wasn’t good enough or less somehow. I think this stemmed from those “negative thoughts” anxiety brings…like I talked about in my last post.
So I began telling myself “no one cares”. I know this sounds really negative, but I mean it in a positive way. For example, the other people shopping at the store aren’t paying any attention to me and what I am doing. They are there to shop and focusing on what they are doing. More importantly, they can’t see how much I am panicking inside. It may not seem like much, but this small thought process change made a huge difference in my life.
Have any of you ever felt this way? Like anxiety has taken over your life?
I would love to hear what you have found that helps.