I was once told I would never have to face my fears.
I’m sure you’ll agree, this sounds nice, but it’s completely misleading.
Anxiety is fear, and if you don’t face it, it will rule your life for however long you let it.
We can continue to live our lives using avoidance as the remedy, but how far is that going to get us?
If you’re afraid of spiders, how are you ever going to know if you’ve overcome the fear if you continue to avoid them?
I used to allow fear to dominate my life. If I didn’t want to go out and see people, I didn’t. I’d hide away. Inevitably, it led to Agoraphobia and severe Social Anxiety. If I didn’t want to go to the Dentist, I didn’t. I’d avoid it at all costs until my tooth started to ache so badly I had no other choice. By then, it was too late, and what should have been a straightforward filling required root canal treatment. If I didn’t want to get on a plane, I didn’t. I sacrificed seeing the world to ease my anxiety.
When I appreciated how other people could contribute towards my revival, how going to the Dentist would save me a lot of pain, and discovered how beautiful the world can be, the fear changed.
Anxiety is fear, and it’s only when you’re willing to face it you can overcome it.
The question whether or not to take medication for anxiety reminds me of the scene from The Matrix.
1. Take the blue pill and live in naivety. Nothing is real, but you’ll never know.
2. Take the red pill and discover the truth. Reality might be hard to take sometimes, but you won’t be living a lie.
Like Neo, I chose the red pill.
I lived in complete denial for most of the 15 years I suffered with high anxiety. I suppressed my true thoughts and feelings, living a double life and not telling anybody about what I was going through. I thought I was the only person on the planet that experienced high anxiety. I felt scared, ashamed, and sometimes embarrassed - what would people think? I now know this was a heavy and completely unnecessary burden to carry.
Anxiety and depression are the most common of all mental health problems, with at least 1 in 4 people suffering from it at any one time. I could go on with the statistics, but the point is you're not alone.
Revival begins with opening up, and sharing your true thoughts and feelings. Bottling it up will get you nowhere. I'm not telling you to go shout from the rooftops, but at least talk to somebody - particularly if you're holding it all inside and dealing with it alone.
The more you bottle things up the bigger they seem.
If you've decided to talk about your true feelings I'm extremely proud of you because I know how difficult it can be. Opening up to friends, family, and the people closest to you can be tough. This is natural because they mean a lot to you, and the last thing you want is to be treated differently - and you won't be. You'll be respected for being honest, and the people that love and care for you won't judge you.
It took me 10 years to open up and I sincerely hope it doesn't take you as long. If it has, change it, immediately. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If talking to the people closest to you is a step too far, start by sharing your experience with someone neutral, like a counsellor.
Talk regularly about your true thoughts and feelings and don’t bottle anything inside. It doesn’t get you anywhere. All it does is eat away at your insides. Get it out there, share, and talk.
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Thanks for sharing!
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