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How To Overcome Anxiety

by teisha leshea 6 months ago in anxiety
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What's Understood Doesn't Need Explanation

How To Overcome Anxiety
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

2016 was the worst year for my mental health; at the beginning of the year, I was diagnosed with mild depression and was experiencing suicidal thoughts. The last time I even thought about ending my life was when I was twelve; I haven't thought about suicide since that moment. I have to explain what suicidal thoughts are for me. I never wanted to die, and I enjoyed earth and my family. If I had the chance to kill anything, it would be my thoughts. My mind would never stop over-thinking and over-analyzing things; those thoughts would translate to negative thoughts about myself after some time. During that time, I felt like a failure. I left a job I didn't want to go to; I started a new career I hated and experienced colorism from my supervisor.

That lady would put me through hell all because of how I looked and the texture of my hair. She hated me, and she did everything in her power to make my experience hard. I hated my job then, and my routine would get worse as time moved on; I would get to work, place my things down at my desk, go to the restroom, sit in the stall furthest from the door, and would silently cry every day. I would be emotionally and mentally exhausted before I started work. I did a great job hiding it, but it would show up on the clock after a while.

I would do my best in doing my job, and all I would get was email after email of what I constantly did wrong but never praise what I did right. Every time that email notification would pop up on my screen, my stomach would drop, my breath got short, my hands would get clammy, and tears would show up after silently crying at my desk; I realized that I couldn't be productive. I didn't want to tell my supervisor because she disliked me, but before I could talk myself out of it, I was already at her desk telling her I needed to go home. I didn't know what a mental health day was; I just knew that I wasn't feeling like myself, and it scared me I would only be at work for fifteen minutes most days. It wasn't very comfortable. I would go to work to make a U-turn to go back home. I did this song and dance for a few months. I decided to go to the doctor, and that's when I was diagnosed with moderate depression and anxiety; after being medicated, those panic attacks subsided.

In 2018 I decided to try therapy for the first time, and I must say that that was the best decision that I've ever made for myself. I just wanted to get to the root of my issues and get to the bottom of the panic attacks and anxiety. I used to worry so much that I would get physically sick and vomit. I felt cursed. I was miserable and no longer wanted to feel that way, so I chose therapy.

By Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

It's now four years, and I'm still going not as much as I used to go, but she is in my circle of support. A few months ago, I experienced anxiety about some things, and my session was anxiety-filled. After her explanation and my understanding, I haven't had anxiety since. I'm not here to give you a textbook explanation because it's boring. A handful of Vocal writers are expressing mental health and anxiety issues. I want to send positive vibes to those who may be struggling this holiday season.

I asked my therapist.

"What's the purpose of anxiety?"

Her answer made sense, and it should because, well, she's the therapist. As put, we need anxiety when faced with fight or flight situations. The example she gave was to picture yourself in a room, and a tiger walks in automatically; your body goes into shock, and all you can think about is if you'll live or thoughts on how to escape.

Now picture you being in that same room. A kitten enters the space in the mental and physical reaction you would have with the tiger wouldn't be used the same once you saw the house cat unless you have a phobia of cats then this will be a terrible example. Still, the point has anxiety should only present itself when you are in a life or death situation. It's not normal to worry every day, all day.

After listening to her explanation, I wanted to pinch myself because the entirety of my life has been "safe" I'm not a thrill-seeker. So, when I heard this, I responded with, "Omg, that makes sense." I decided at that moment to be my own hype man or hype woman. If I ever feel anxiety attempting to present itself, I tend to ask these two questions "Is this a life-or-death situation?" Meaning, if you decide to move forward in your decision, will you die? Or if you don't move forward, "will you die?" If your answer is no, then the next question to ask yourself is, "Will this harm me?" I can guarantee you that 99.9% of your responses will be no; which is the answer you need to hear to do the thing you want to do? Is this easy? No, but it's possible. Feeding your mind positivity throughout the day will work wonders in your life. If it doesn't harm you, then it can be done. Now, if you're having anxiety about perfection, you can still ask yourself those questions, but I suggest you take a deeper look with a professional.

If you take a few extra seconds to catch your breath and ask yourself these vital questions, you will learn to coexist with anxiety and not allow it to dictate how you live your life. It's filled with worry and a fake storyline that hasn't happened yet. Fear makes you feel terrible about the "unknown" and "the future," and that's not fair to you; you should be able to walk into any situation confident I've learned to look at everything as a learning experience. If my decision goes as planned, I label it as an experience; if it doesn't go as planned, I view it as a lesson. Lessons build character. Treat anxiety like your best friend, give yourself some grace and live your life. You only have one.

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About the author

teisha leshea

Contributor to Medium

Join my Facebook group- Saloon for Writers.

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