Anxiety is awful. You know that feeling, like your stomach is being sandpapered from the inside out, your mind is racing, and you’re sure something dreadful is about to happen? Most of us have experienced this at some point or another. Imagine that you find it nearly impossible to relax because, as soon as your mind is not distracted by something, this feeling creeps in like the bogeyman being released from the closet. Anxiety is a smothering, black cloud that envelops and suffocates you, draining your energy and vitality and seriously impairing your ability to relate to others. I should know. I’ve been dealing with it in some form or another for most of my life.
There are many coping mechanisms I’ve learned in the past twenty years, but there are still times when none of them seem to work and I still have to tough it out. Talking about it is helpful, especially when I have the opportunity to help someone else that is going through something similar.
My purpose in posting this is to address the prevalence of anxiety in modern society and the sorely lacking resources to successfully cope. Most of us work stressful jobs, struggle to have enough time for things, try to balance family with work and other relationships, and are constantly barraged with media messages that we should either be doing more or that we are somehow inadequate. Many people silently suffer with anxiety and/or its sinister cousin, depression, and have sadly accepted it as an inevitable presence in their lives. If you are one of these people, please find someone to talk with. I’m not saying that you need to go see a counselor, but talk to a friend or relative that will be understanding and non-judgmental. You might find that you are less alone than you feel. If your anxiety is severe, counseling might be a good option. Most of the people that seek counseling do so for temporary problems that can be resolved. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any resources.