Have you ever felt that you were running in a race with all the important people in your life ahead of you? Have you ever felt to be always steps behind them? That is me. My anxiety has kept me slow and fearful of participating and always in fifth place. I have lived my life with others in mind, with other people’s needs ahead of my own to the point of not knowing who I am and not developing whom I should be. Living this way erases joy from my life. Heck it really erases me as a person too. I was always afraid I would say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, live the wrong way of what others demanded I should be doing. I didn’t speak up, I didn’t fight for myself, I held everything in and fought an internal battle with anxiety and denial. This emotional baggage was so heavy that I couldn’t carry joy because of the heavy weight that was my inner struggle. Fighting anxiety everyday takes away the chance to know who I am, what I want, and what should be true. Fighting anxiety leaves me without breath and knowledge of self. I end up living life through others or for others because the fight to survive takes up any time that I could spend on me.
I represent an assembly of women, men, and kids who hide with shame each day of their journey with anxiety. We know once upon waking whether the day will be good or bad for us. Whether we will be hiding our disorder so we appear normal in order to get the job we are interviewing for; Whether we will be cowering today in the house because the outside has become too big to take part in; Whether we will push the envelope today and then get caught at a stop light and wish to hell we had chosen to stay home. The wait at the light is too long and we can tell we will panic. Where will we go - We’re trapped amongst eight other cars at this light. Please, God, not today…let me make it through this light so I can accomplish my task!
CL A R I T Y comes to me most in the mornings when I have first awakened and it may still be a little dark outside. Thoughts run rampant in my head and I tell myself I must write this all down. Sometimes I succumb to the pressure and get out of bed and stumble to my office in only my night clothes. Other times I just let the thoughts ramble and do nothing about them. I ponder whether the thoughts are valuable enough to make a point to my audience or whether they are too silly to bother.
Today I need to say more and I need to share why a life could become joyless and empty. My life has done this and it was developed from living a long arduous existence with anxiety. But I forecast I am on a journey and this new one is about shifting the lack of joy and a feeling of emptiness into a full cup of happiness and to embark on a spiritual path of balance and blending all of my thoughts and theories into a remarkable truth for me.
One day you may feel invincible and go out mightily on to the streets and the next feel as stuck as you would bathing in oatmeal. The anxiety, at least for me, never goes away. I don’t think it ever will but time will play jury on that one. It is one of my great wishes that it does leave me, and I pray every day that today will be the day I can shed myself of its large burdensome overcoat.