I am anxious because I am afraid. Of what, you ask? Well, I have been asking myself that question for many, many years, and it’s about time I answer it. So, here are the things that this seemingly “put together” woman is afraid of – and more importantly, how I started using my fear to begin healing from the anxiety it caused.
I am afraid of who I will become, or not become. I am afraid of all of the things that I will do, or not do, during my time on this earth. I am scared that I will not be a good enough mother, wife, daughter or friend. I am scared that it will be difficult for me to conceive a child. I am fearful that I will pass this anxiety onto my future children. I am fearful that I will become depressed again.
I am afraid that I will never be able to let these emotions go and “just live”. I am afraid that I will become complacent, and stop working towards my dreams. I am scared that I will never discover what it is that I truly want in a career. I am scared that I am wasting time. I am fearful of what others say (and will say) about me and the decisions I make. I am fearful of my mind and what it is capable of.
I’m afraid because I am tired of fighting these thoughts and emotions. I’ve spent a great deal of time feeling sorry for myself, and feeling badly about myself. I am afraid that I will never stop comparing myself, and my life, to other people. And perhaps my greatest fear of all, I am scared because I do not have the answers.
I do not know how to let this all go. I do not know if my anxiety will ever truly be cured. I do not know if I will feel this way for the rest of my life. Sometimes, the not knowing is the scariest thing of all.
I want to break free from the prison in my mind and enjoy every moment of my life. I want to go on to inspire and help others, leaving a significant footprint in the world. I want to cherish every day that I have with my loving husband, who has made me happier than I ever thought was possible. I want to “enjoy the ride”. I want to be more spontaneous and free, and stop trying to plan every detail of my life (because we all know that simply isn’t possible).
I want to find the sunshine in every cloudy day. I want to stop seeking the approval and praise of others, and find happiness and satisfaction within myself. I want to be a mom, and a role model, and a genuinely confident person.
I want to say “no” to the things I do not want or need without feeling an extreme sense of guilt. I want to feel important and needed without having to hear it from someone else. I want to feel good physically and mentally.
In working with my fears instead of against them, I’ve realized a lot about myself and life in general. I am a really good person, and I care a lot for the well being of others, but not enough for my own well being. I am extremely intelligent, but I am hard on myself sometimes because I often feel that others underestimate me. I am happiest when I am experiencing life with others – date night with my husband, a family vacation to the beach, a long walk with a friend – and I am most somber when I am alone for too long.
If I want to let things go and “just live”, I need to cut the crap and take action: less social media is certainly a start. If I want to do something, I need to take a deep breath, and go do it – no second guessing. I need to let things happen naturally, and release my grip and desire to control every circumstance.
I don’t know if my anxiety will ever really “go away”, but that doesn’t mean that I am doomed. And neither are you. We aren’t supposed to have all of the answers. We aren’t supposed to be the best at everything. We aren’t supposed to have it all figured out. NO ONE DOES. Not one person. And that’s kind of cool, isn’t it?
Feel your feelings.
Examine your thoughts.
Anticipate your triggers.
Release and forgive.