Have you ever found yourself in a complete state of frenzy with the walls closing in around you? Have you ever felt anxiety so intense that you knew your were missing out on life? Below you will find my story and as a result, I have put together a simple guide to pushing anxiety out of your life….for good.
It all started a few years ago, I remember it clearly. The panic came out of nowhere. I felt hot, dizzy, sweaty and cold all at the same time. There was a load of groceries in my cart, coupons were clipped and I was checking out. I never passed out in my life but I felt it coming. My mind was firing off questions so fast I didn’t know which one to answer first. What do I do? Leave? How can I drive home feeling like this? If I do pass out, I hope I do it now with so many people around to help me. All these thoughts went through my head at that moment and they continued to go through my head for the next year and a half.
Since that incident in the supermarket, I didn’t go anywhere alone. Ever. My husband had to be with me if I went out. I didn’t step foot in the supermarket again. I just organized the list aisle by aisle and clipped the coupons so my husband could do the shopping. We didn’t have my son at that time so my life was spent inside the house. Going out meant getting the mail and that was it.
When my son came into the picture, things had to change. I knew I had to get past these feelings because I was now responsible for another human being. After getting a complete workup done by my doctor to ensure nothing was physically wrong with me, I knew I had to push to get past this huge boulder in my life.
Here’s how I learned to “PUSH” through anxiety and panic:
P – Present. Stay in the present! Teach yourself to stop thinking about what may happen today, tomorrow or a year from now. Make yourself stay in the moment. I told myself if I didn’t pass out when the anxiety was at its peak, chances were I wouldn’t pass out in the next minute. I soon realized that just because I felt a certain way, didn’t mean I’d end up that way.
U – Understand. Understand anxiety for what it is. Anxiety is nothing more that all your nerves firing at once. In my option, anxiety is like pushing the gas pedal in your car with the emergency brake on. Think of it this way, just because your are revving the car, nothing is really happening. Furthermore, you aren’t going anywhere. To put it another way, just because my heart was racing and I felt strange, didn’t mean that anxiety was stronger than ME. I was the one in control.
S – Scared or not – HERE I COME. Due to this panic, I realized that my life was passing me by. These intense feelings that were washing over me where just that – feelings. Therefore, I told myself just because I feel this way, does not mean I will end up this way. So, I started to go to stores when they were the least busiest. I’d make myself walk around the store, buy something and leave. In the beginning, my husband and son would wait for me outside in the car. After six times, I drove myself and did the same thing. Absolutely, there were times I thought that panic would do me in! I swore I’d pass out. But I didn’t. I did it scared and I survived. I was victorious!
H – Handle it. Actually, I got to the point I knew the panic/anxiety was coming and I was ready for it. I felt the more I allowed these feelings to come on, the better I’d get at learning to let them dissipate. Frankly, the more it happened, the more I knew nothing would happen to me. I walked into the store and I walked out. Not on a stretcher. There were no paramedics around me. I could handle this. It was all up to me. I was in control. Not it.
Finally, I hope my story resonates with someone out there dealing with anxiety. And, most of all, you are not alone and you can and will overcome it.