There are days when it seems as if the world is closing in on you. Perhaps it hurts to breathe, and maybe you contemplate never leaving your bed, for burying yourself deep into the covers and placing a pillow upon your head to drown out the sounds of the world seems like the better alternative than dealing with your day.
Truthfully, it seems like anything will be better than dealing with your day, for your old nemesis anxiety has come to play, and they are not looking to leave.
Anxiety doesn’t want to leave, even though you’ve asked politely.
Anxiety doesn’t want to leave, even though you’re taking the medication you were told to take, eating the way you were told to eat, and doing all the things that all the folks have instructed you to do.
Anxiety wants to stay; it wants to sit with you as you eat your dinner, lie with you as you go to bed at night, and join you as you chat with your family and friends. It wants to share a desk with you at work and be with you during happy hour as you try to enjoy your margarita.
Anxiety wants to snuggle up with you so that you feel like it’ll never leave and that you are destined to be with it forever.
Now listen closely: That’s not true.
Now reread those words: It’s not true. Anxiety doesn’t have to stay with you, sit with you, and sleep with you at night. You will beat it, and you will conquer it, and you will get to the point where it feels as if your anxiety isn’t dictating every aspect of your life.
You have to give yourself a tremendous amount of grace to get to the finish line.
You are a human, not a machine, and this will sometimes be a difficult road. Some people liken it to coming out of the dark thicket of woods or having the strength to keep your head above water, both of which require a tremendous amount of tenacity, patience, and grace.
Carry your heart gently as you journey on your fight.
Take care of your body both physically and mentally, and put the work in to make real, lasting change. Don’t just put a band-aid on your wound—stitch the scar. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Resist the urge to scroll before bedtime and make a habit out of getting a decent amount of sleep. Take medicine if that’s what the doctor ordered. Talk about it with whoever helps—maybe that’s a spouse, a partner, or a friend. Perhaps it’s a professional therapist. Maybe talking isn’t where you’re most comfortable, so you journal, instead. Whatever it is, make a plan for how you’re going to win this fight. Don’t just go in blind.
I know it seems like you’re never going to beat your anxiety.
I know it feels like you’re going to be on this road forever, and talk of a time when it’s easy to breathe and easy to fall asleep and going about your day doesn’t evoke worry and stress to the point of utter exhaustion seems like a far fetched idea. But it’s not. It’s possible, and it’s attainable, and you can do it.
Yes, even you.
But it’s a process, and like all processes, it takes a tremendous amount of planning, patience, and grace. So be sure to give yourself plenty of it.