Anxiety: It's Just the Way It Is... for Me
My truth: I suffer from clinical anxiety. That's just the way it is, for me. I accept it, work with it, and live a good life!
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by Jamie Spannhake
March 07, 2021
Pre-pandemic, I remember walking on a swinging bridge over a ravine and stream with a friend. She commented that she was really worried every time she was on the bridge, especially when her 11-year-old daughter was there too. She felt the anxiety, the tightening of her chest, and the shortening of her breath. She could think of nothing other than getting across the bridge safely.
She knows I suffer from clinical anxiety. She said, "Is this what having anxiety feels like? Do you feel like this all the time?"
That's a really good analogy. Anxiety colors everything. It makes us breathe less deeply, feel less safe, and focus on getting through the anxiety.
It is manageable, but it is a concerted effort.
People often thank me for being so open about my anxiety. I don't see any reason to hide it. It doesn't negatively affect my work because I have learned tools to manage it.
Related content: 5 Ways to Handle Anxiety Disorder
If anything, now that it is managed, it makes me more grounded, more aware, and more compassionate.
Some people might develop a meditation or yoga practice to improve their lives, but for me, it is mandatory. These mindfulness practices are two of the primary tools I use to manage my anxiety. And they provide me the groundedness I need to live a happy and successful life.
Related content: 5 Reasons to Meditate
Because people so often say to me, "You are so calm," I am very aware that we don't know other people's struggles. I always appreciate when people say this to me. My external is calm, but not always my internal. This dichotomy reminds me to be compassionate with others; I often don't know what they are going through or how their experience is affecting their actions toward me.
I'm not saying I'm glad I have anxiety. I'm saying I accept that I do, and work with it, rather than denying it or trying to hide it.
If you too suffer from anxiety, or other challenges, you can work with them to be the best you can be. Reach out. Talk to a therapist. Talk to your doctor. Find tools and strategies that help you.
I'd love your feedback.