I’ve suffered with GAD for as long as I can remember. I remember realising I had something odd going on with my mind when I was in about year 5 or 6. I was having OCD tendencies, which I knew I wanted to stop and made a mental note to do the opposite of what my mind was telling me to do.
Members of my family suffer from OCD so I knew it was something I’d been exposed to, but it still surprises me to this day that as a child I knew this was an issue and something that needed stopping.
It wasn’t until many many years later I was diagnosed with GAD and found out that this was something another member of my family suffered with. And it wasn’t until a few years after that, that I read a blog post online that really helped to change the way I dealt with anxiety.
I honestly don’t remember where I read the article. I was doing research for a blog post in my job and happened across the post, with relation to something else. But the post struck a chord with me.
Simply put, the author noted that she’d been trying to suppress her anxious feelings. They’d been weighing her down to the point where she was saying no to meetings, new business and opportunities. She’d been allowing her anxiety to define her and it was preventing her from moving forward in a business sense. Until one day she had a breakthrough. She decided she would greet her anxiety – acknowledge it. She moved forward knowing that she would have this reaction and instead of causing herself more stress trying to fight it, she described herself moving forward with the anxiety walking alongside her.
She soon found that it wasn’t there as much. Because she’d decided not to pay attention to it so much, not use up her energy analysing it or fighting it, that it wasn’t getting the attention it wanted and so it didn’t seem as important as it once had.
This idea was really powerful to me. I hope it is to you, too.
Anxiety is a big snowball of horrid. You have it, you analyse it, you feel guilty for it, and then you have more of it. It’s a cycle that seems so unnecessary and is very tiring. It can debilitate, numb, paralyse. It’s in no way fun.
It’s different for everyone, but I hope, if you suffer, that by reading this you might find some sense of relief. It won’t work every time, it doesn’t cure, but it might offer a little respite on occasion.