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 the LAST thing you want to believe is that anxiety will never be gone from your life. I think that every person who has anxiety 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. However, their symptoms will usually 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 it’s the truth. Your anxiety is a part of you. It comes from you. It IS you, and it is best if you start thinking of you and your anxiety as a package deal from now on.
You just need to work on making that package a whole lot smaller and easier to carry.
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 with it.
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 it seems impossible to think of your anxiety as a gift.
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 them. 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.
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 with 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 this revelation 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 most of that to my anxiety and the journey that it forced me to take.
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. Once I did, it changed the whole game.
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.
Finger Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/4166182931