In case you missed the news bulletin or didn’t get the memo: I suffer from anxiety as a result of having suffered a nervous breakdown a few years ago.
I also suffer(ed) from depression. I write “suffer(ed)” because you never know if it’s going to decide to come back and haunt you. I hope it doesn’t but I don’t think if myself as out of the woods of the big black wolf just as yet.
I’ve not taken medication since June. I still have a few tablets of Xanax lurking somewhere in the house but I don’t want to take any more Xanax. As much as it kills anxiety it’s also highly addictive and even if I don’t regard myself as being at high risk of becoming addicted (whos does?) I just don’t want to go there. At all.
Plus, I want to beat anxiety. I want to body slam it into the ground, mash its face into the dirt and make it seriously hurt. Managing anxiety is hard work but this is kind of where I’m at with it:
I've learned that I can't defeat it or kill it off; I've learned that I have to compete with it and be stronger than it and when I am, that's when I have chosen to succeed.
It's ridiculous to hear people say things like "failure is not an option". Failure is the most readily available option there is at all times but I can choose failure or I can choose to be stronger than the anxiety and succeed. Yes, I stole this from Chael Sonnen and tailored it to me. What can I say? It resonated with me.
I'm not saying it's easy, far from it, but it is a choice. It's when I forget to tell myself "stand up", "move", "be grateful for something everyday", etc. that anxiety wins. When I notice that anxiety has got the upper hand I've got to tell myself again "stand up", "move", "be grateful for something", etc. and if that's hard for me I come in here and tell my story, I ask someone for help. I have to. Sometimes I can't do it on my own.
It's an ongoing battle and it's not always a fair one. My mind is a battleground and I can't for one moment stop remembering that I'm the one writing the battle story.
I have to keep at it. My voice has to be louder than the anxiety. Sometimes I have to shout. Sometimes I need someone else's help to tell it. I have to keep at it until my voice is consistently louder and stronger; until I believe it and not the anxiety.
It's hard work.
I’ve come to think of it as training for a marathon or a big fight. I have to become donkey stubborn about what goes into my mind and how I think. I have to monitor all my thoughts, learn to spot and weed out any thoughts that will hinder or slow down my recovery. I have to stalk my mind and I have to outmaneuver it. When I feel like I have no energy left and it comes to take over I have to show myself compassion but I have to be stern.
I have to be sure of what I want to achieve and I can’t waiver. I can’t let myself wander off the path. I have to fill my mind with things that are positive and that reassure – most of the time I have to saturate my mind with messages that support. I can’t allow anything toxic to get in there at this stage. I have to build a foundation so strong that nothing is going to rock it.
I have to become strong enough that when bad things happen it will hurt and it will make me sad but it will never bring me down again.
I know no other way of doing this so for now I will keep Chael’s talk with Uriah in my mind simply because it resonated and it made something stir into action. It made me move without me having to tell myself to do it.
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