In order to get your anxiety disorder under control, there are a few things that you need to come to terms with.
The first is that your anxiety will never be completely gone.
It will be a part of your life until the day you die.
Now before you click right out of this website…hear me out. I promise the news gets better.
I know that If you have an anxiety disorder the LAST thing you want to believe is that it will never be gone from your life. I think that in every person who has anxiety, there is a huge part of them that looks forward to the day when their anxiety just disappears……when it is no longer a part of their life and they can forget it ever existed and life will be great again.
But that isn’t the way it works.
And until you accept that, you will never have it under control. At least not REALLY under control. There are lots of people who live in denial and they may get lucky and find their symptoms waning from time to time……. but the symptoms will always come back with a vengeance at some point when they least expect it if they spend their life trying to pretend that they don’t have an anxiety disorder.
Again, I know that is not at all what you want to hear. But its the truth. Your anxiety is a part of you. It comes from you. It IS you. I will get into that more at a later time, but for right now, all you need to know is that you and anxiety are a package deal from now on.
We just need to work on making that package a whole lot smaller.
On a side note, I tried finding an uplifting, motivating anxiety “quotey box” with a nice picture to put here, and it was like trying to find a freaking unicorn. I waded through a sea of images and quotes so pitiful that I almost started to feel sorry for myself for having this God awful affliction. The internet is one of the most wonderful things that could have happened for those of us with mental illness and disorders, but today really highlighted the downside of it for me.
Good grief people, let’s pull it together and try to be just a tiny bit more optimistic, shall we? We are all part of the same tribe and I get how hard it is. I live with anxiety every day of my life and I have had it almost as bad as it gets. But as far as I know, this isn’t a terminal illness and none of us have ever been told that there is “no hope” for us. I can’t imagine being newly diagnosed now and coming online looking for support and encouragement and stumbling across the negativity that is out there.
It would have scared the crap out of me twenty years ago if I had seen all this stuff. I would have thought “What’s the point? These people have anxiety and all they talk about is how nobody understands them and nothing makes it better and nobody believes that they have a “real mental illness”.
Venting has a purpose. I know that. And everybody has a right to feel how they feel. But worrying about other people’s perceptions of anxiety and focusing on how hard it is, is not where your main focus needs to be and it’s not going to help you get better. That negativity is one of the reasons WHY we have anxiety in the first place.
We need more positive quotes…more inspiration…more motivation and encouragement. Not encouragement to wallow in our misery….but encouragement to keep trying to find help until we come up with the right answer. We need more “I can do this” and less “This sucks”.
Anxiety is a negative thinking disorder.
Focusing on the negative things about our negative thinking disorder is not going to make our negative thinking disorder better.
The GOOD NEWS is that just because anxiety will be a part of your life from now on, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good relationship. If you stick with me and practice the tools and techniques I will show you, then you and your anxiety can co-exist quite peacefully. You can actually train your anxiety to only appear when it is NEEDED, as opposed to it being a constant, nagging presence in your life.
Which brings me to the second thing that you need to come to terms with…
Not only do you need to accept anxiety as a permanent part of your life….but you need to decide right here and now that anxiety is your friend. You need to stop looking at anxiety as your enemy, and start looking at it as one of the best things that has ever happened to you.
Instead of feeling cursed that anxiety is part of your life, think of your anxiety as a blessing and a gift. As long as you continue to fight it and “wage war” against it, you will never be able to control it. The more you fight it, the longer it will stick around. The more you fight it, the more it thinks you need it to stay.
I know that seems impossible.
How can you love something that makes you feel sick inside? How can you befriend something that you hate with every fiber of your being? How can you be grateful for something that has taken you from your job or robbed you of happy times with your children or your spouse? How can you be glad for something that plays mental mind games with you and makes you feel like you are going crazy?
I will tell you how.
The way to do that is to understand that anxiety is not causing all of these problems in your life. Your stress and negative thinking patterns have been causing all these problems in your life. You have been blaming anxiety all this time, when the truth is that your anxiety is not responsible for what your life has become. Anxiety is the result of what your life has become. ( My instincts are telling me you want to throw a heavy frying pan at me right now but I am going to press on because this is important. )
Your anxiety hasn’t been hurting you. It has been trying to HELP you. It has been trying to wake you up…to get your attention…to make you STOP what you are doing and start doing things differently. But you aren’t listening. And until your anxiety feels like you ARE listening…..its not going to leave. It has a job to do, and it won’t stop until the job is done.
You and anxiety are on the same team. You both want the same thing. You both want you to be safe, happy and at peace. But right now, unbeknownst to you, your anxiety is the only one fighting for that.
Make the decision now to partner up with anxiety to fight the real enemy, which is your worry and negative thinking, your constant stress, and your very low opinion of your ability to handle a crisis.
THAT is what you need to wage war against. THAT is what you need to “beat” and “destroy” and banish from your life.
You think that you worry because you have anxiety. When the truth is that you have anxiety because you worry and think negatively. You have been looking at it backwards all this time.
I will get more into this in later pages and I will try to make sense of it for you. Just know that once I finally figured all of this out…once I switched my thinking around and realized why my anxiety was there and how I basically ordered it up on a silver platter by my constant, negative internal dialogue, THAT Is when my life started to change.
It was like the world’s greatest, evolving “light bulb” moment and it all just became so clear. And not only did it start me on the path to getting my life back, but that is when I started becoming grateful and thankful and even GLAD that I have an anxiety disorder.
Without my anxiety disorder, I would not be the person I am today. Before my anxiety disorder erupted in my early twenties, I was a miserable person. Only I didn’t know it at the time. I worried all the time. I was always involved in some drama or another. I was under constant stress and I was SO pessimistic and scared of everything. But I thought that was normal. It was how I had always been and I thought everybody was like that to some degree. But after my anxiety disorder blew up on a miserable October day, I was forced to look at my life and how I was living it and I was forced to change it. And I will forever be grateful to my anxiety disorder for helping me do that. I am such a strong person now and so confident in who I am, and I owe it to my anxiety and the journey that it forced me to take. (And to my dad up in heaven. Love you Dad.)
Is anxiety gone from my life forever? No. It will always be a part of my life. But my anxiety is my helper. We are a team.
When my anxiety starts acting up again, and it always does,…….I listen.
I don’t ignore it. I look at my life, and if I look closely enough I can ALWAYS find the reason it is back. And then when my anxiety trusts that I have things under control again and that I have corrected the problems in my life….it goes away quietly and waits until I need it again. It’s a pretty good relationship we have now.
Okay, so maybe we aren’t exactly BFF’s. Maybe its a bit out of the realm of “reasonable” to think anybody could ever love their anxiety that much. But I learned a long time ago that my anxiety isn’t going anywhere, so I better learn to make nice with it. And I did.
Like any relationship, we have our ups and downs and it certainly isn’t perfect. There are some days it drives me absolutely crazy and there are some days when I wish I could throw it on the ground and stomp all over it in a crazy fit of rage. But on a bad PMS day I feel the same way about my husband and I still love him, so I figure that’s just a normal part of any close relationship. 😉
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow TheWorryGames.com in the sidebar. Click here for Part 3, although I do recommend not taking in too much info at one time.
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