As a person that suffers from anxiety, there are a lot of things that make me anxious. There are a lot of things that give me pause and make me question if perhaps I should not do them. My anxiety itself causes me to worry, especially when it comes to my ability to care for Diego. What kind of a mother works herself up into a panic attack over a toddler group at our local library? This one right here. I have been wanting to go since the beginning of the year. I even had it written down in my planner. Intentions don’t count, and it is now April and I have yet to take Diego to one. It is one of the many things that I am working towards.
Every time I write about my anxiety, my struggles, and my goals, a small part of me feels silly. A small part of me worries about the opinions others will form as a result of what I disclose here. The other part of me, the part that thinks it’s a great idea to write blog posts about this very topic thinks it’s necessary. I know I am not the only person, woman, or mother to go through this. I also know that some are struggling much more than I am .
Last year I was doing great. I could go out without a care. My anxiety had vanished. I still felt it creep up now and then but it didn’t inhibit me. I look back and feel so angry that I am now back at square one. How does this happen? The truth is that is doesn’t matter how it happened. What matters is that I am working towards a cure. One of my tools in this journey is to challenge myself every day to do something that scares me. Anything that makes me uncomfortable or anxious I must do. These challenges become victories, these victories become ammunition for that little voice in my head that is always on the lookout for danger and impending doom.
Even though I strive to challenge myself every single day sometimes it’s just not possible. Some days I’m just not feeling anxious at all, but the idea is to challenge myself regularly. For me, this has really been working. I am still working on Freedom from Fear by Dr. Howard Liebgold, and blogging about it as I go. I have gone from avoiding anxiety and panic to facing it head on. Before, whenever I felt anxious, I would opt to stay home. I would rationalize my avoidance. Now, I don’t let that feeling stop me from doing anything. I still have a way to go but I feel so much better about my anxiety.
I wish I could tell every anxious person that feels alone that they are not. Is there a mommy and me group comprised of agoraphobes? There should be!
My challenge to all of you is to go out there and do something that scares you. If you think you can’t do it, then you must.