My anxiety started during a very stressful period in my life. I started showing signs of high stress around July 2018. I wasn’t taking care of myself, eating fast food every day and drinking coffee/red bulls in order to keep up.
I remember my chest started breaking out terribly and I knew it was stress related but never did anything about it because at the time I couldn’t. I went from working at home to being promoted to Manager at an Insurance Company and having to go back to working full-time. Looking back the promotion was a blessing because of the pay increase which allowed me to be free from my ex-husband and take care of my 4-year-old son alone.
A few months back at work I decided it was finally time to divorce my husband. Everything just started to slowly take its toll on me, and more symptoms started to arise. I’ve always been a nervous person I guess because if I was put on the spot I would suddenly become flushed and sometimes my heart would race depending on the situation.
Those symptoms never bothered me, and I knew them very well.
I remember I started to fear meetings almost because I would start feeling strange during them and even though I wasn’t nervous (or didn’t think I was) my heart would suddenly race, I’d feel like I was going to faint and I was getting that urge to flee.
Before and during each meeting I would behave apprehensively which was only fueling my symptoms because my brain thought I was in danger and was giving me more anxiety (I had no idea that could even happen up until I read DARE). Everyone in the office kept telling me it was blood sugar related so I would always eat before a meeting and if I didn’t, I was scared that it was going to happen again. Even after eating I would still get sensations but learned to tune them out and they went away fairly quickly.
In October 2017, I met a new guy and was super happy despite all the stress I was under with my pending divorce. He lived an hour away from me, so I was having to drive to visit him and literally just putting myself under more and more stress without knowing.
Even though he is my stress reliever, I was becoming sensitized without knowing it. In November 2017, my divorce was finally over and I could begin my new life without that stressor hanging over me.
In March 2018, I had quite a few new stressors added to my list and the anxiety/sensitization started to increase. My Dad passed away suddenly and unexpected. That has been the hardest thing for me to handle and I remember sitting in the church listening to the pastor as my heart raced and feeling faint.
I left during the service to get something to eat because again, I thought blood sugar issues when in reality it was anxiety symptoms. I decided to leave my job and move my son and I in with my now fiancé an hour away from friends/family. I was also during the midst of this pursuing my BA Degree in Psychology.
Stress upon stress upon stress! I had to enroll my son in school and take him to/from school which is a 25-minute drive one way. I was lucky enough and blessed enough to be able to work at home again with the same company I was a Manager with.
I remember it was around July 2018 that the urge to flee feeling was getting stronger and was hitting me places that I didn’t even fear like a tire shop, the grocery store or driving out of my
“comfort zone”. In September 2018, I had enough of it and finally did some research which was pointing towards Anxiety. I didn’t take that as the answer and kept searching. After multiple Dr’s appointments and multiple tests I still had no answers.
I came across a YouTube video that Barry did about driving anxiety. It really did fit what I was going through and just hearing his voice and how soothing it was giving me relief that it was simply anxiety. I looked more into his work and found the Dare website and read about it. It finally made sense to me…. I had anxiety and I was sensitized.
I started listening to the Audiobook in my car, at home, in the bath, etc! Anywhere I could to get some relief of how I was feeling. The symptoms got worse before they got better, and I started practicing Dare fully I would say in October, 2018. It took me a good month ½ or so to remove the fear.
I was fearful of what this disorder was doing to my mind and my body.
I was more fearful of what it was doing to my mind more than anything. I changed my diet completely and started following a low-glycemic diet, I immediately cut all caffeine and
increased my water intake. I never was a drinker, but I’ve been staying away from alcohol completely, even on New Year’s Eve I didn’t have one single drink. I’ve cut back on sugar almost completely and started to exercise as much as I could with my lifestyle.
Anxiety is all based on your behaviors and even when the anxiety was turned on full blast, I would maintain a calmness about me and continue what I was doing whether it was cleaning the house or working on my laptop.
This took lots of practice and just the complete understanding that anxiety is harmless, it’s your protector and would never hurt you. I’ve messaged Suzane Brikassa so many times with so many questions and I truly thank her for her responses and dedication to DARE.
I figured out pretty quickly I was more afraid of what symptoms I could get than rather than the symptoms I was dealing with. I don’t think I’ve experienced them all, but I did have quite a few! It is a very scary thing when you are caught up in it but once you give it time and start to heal you slowly start to pull yourself out of the darkness.
Some days you’ll have a complete understanding of it and then the next, you’ll feel completely lost and crazier than ever. I’m not recovered yet, but I would say that I am VERY close.
My mind is clearer and quieter than ever. I seem to only battle with the thoughts and some headaches/head pressure (I have sinus issues which makes it worse) if I’m out shopping or if I pushed myself too hard. The thoughts cause a tiny bit of a reaction still (a tummy flutter or warm feeling).
I’m hoping that with continued practice and healing that I will be 100% very soon. It’s been a LONG hard road for me, but I never gave up hope and I always knew in my heart that nothing was ever wrong with me to begin with.
My biggest drive in all of this has been my son, I needed to get better quickly for him. I didn’t want to become someone who was afraid to take him to the park or afraid to take him places and experience life with him.
Even on my absolute worst days, I still got up, I still did the absolute best job I could as his mother.
Most of those high anxiety days are a blur to me and I don’t even know how I made it through them, but I did. I know now that I am just simply sensitized, and my nerves are weak from a period of high stress in my life. I can honestly say that I am thankful and happy that I went through this period of anxiety.
I finished my degree and have my BA Degree in Psychology and plan to one day utilize that degree. With my understanding and first-hand experience with anxiety I can then in turn help others. I do 100% with all my heart believe that things do happen for a reason.
Things Anxiety has taught me:
- To take better care of myself and to start putting myself first
- To start paying more attention to my diet and the things I am putting in my body
- To have more patience and understanding
- To trust myself and to trust my own mind and body
- To have more Empathy for others (especially fellow anxiety sufferers)
- That everything truly does happen for a reason – Whether a blessing or a lesson Meditation
- How blessed I am in my life and how lucky I am to have an amazing family
- That the only person I need is myself
- That I have a lot of courage and strength to get through anything in life
- How strong I am and have been throughout my entire life
- That I love myself and the human spirit is amazing!
17 replies on “This took lots of practice and just the complete understanding that anxiety is harmless“
excellent it’s really worth hearing ur story.
I felt as though I am reading my story related to anxiety.thank for sharing
Your story was wonderful to read!….I am so happy for your success & that you shared it with all of us!…Heidi XO
Omg that is so awesome to hear. I been battling with anxiety as well I got the book. And ready to start and recover completely from this. Your story gives me hope. I have a 5 year old boy I am a single mother battling with so much as well. But all this gives me hope thank you so much for sharing this story.
Thanks for sharing your story, I can relate to all of it
I can really relate to your story , it gives me hope to come through my anxiety & to understand it better . Thank you for sharing your story with us x
Thank you for your story. It truly blessed me to see someone both understand and fight anxiety.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!! Wow. The list of what Anxiety has taught you really hit home for me. I’ve been struggling with panic, driving anxiety, anxiety in meetings, and many, many physical symptoms for almost two years. But, I found when I remember to put myself first, slow down, and take care with diet, sleep and exercise, the anxiety backs off, or is at least not as powerful as it used to me. Way to go!
Thanks for sharing your story Amber. It’s very inspiring. Love the list about what anxiety has taught you.
Seriously your story is amazing! Wow! I’m blessed to go through your story as I have picked up some lessons too from it. All thanks to the DARE family. I’m blessed to find this group. I’m encouraged.
Thank you for sharing!! I can relate so much to what you wrote
Amazing, such a inspiration. Thank you for sharing and helping Barry hold the door open for the rest of us xx
Hello, reading your story is and what you been thru is like a repeat of my own. I also have a hard time in meetings I’m so fearful and I feel so stupid in front of my peers because I just shut down, feeling like anything that I say will be wrong..I always feel like I’m being judged ..it’s getting so bad it’s really effecting my position at work and I don’t know what to do..If any one has any questions pls help ty
Hello, reading your story is and what you been thru is like a repeat of my own. I also have a hard time in meetings I’m so fearful and I feel so stupid in front of my peers because I just shut down, feeling like anything that I say will be wrong..I always feel like I’m being judged ..it’s getting so bad it’s really effecting my position at work and I don’t know what to do..If any one has any suggestions pls help ty
There is so much to say, and not enough room for all the “mess” that is in my head.
I have had panic disorder/anxiety since childhood. I mostly kept it under control (except for a few episodes over the years). In March 2018, it came to the forefront due an unanticipated divorce after 25 years. For almost a year now, my life has stopped. I had to leave my home, my car was repossessed, I have had to move twice more, my soon to be ex was fired from his job of 27 years, and I haven’t been able to work due to hospitalizations and the daily “fight or flight”. I’m tired, sad, anxious, and feel I will never have a somewhat happy life back. I was given Barry’s book by a friend. I read it in a matter of hours. I hope I am strong enough to implement DARE.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are such a courageous and inspiring person. Your conviction to carry on no matter what speaks volumes of your strength. You are a very special lady.
Those who suffer from anxiety , stress and panic are very brave. It does take a lot of time to accept that anxiety is only in our minds but it may be easy to use logic and understand this but if you have a big person standing on your foot it makes very little difference that you understand they do not realise the pain is just the same. I can tell myself many things, I can argue with my mind, I can do thing again and again and again telling myself all the time that the mind plays tricks and there is nothing to fear. But my mind takes no notice and is still terrified and continue to be so after many years, so it is nice to hear when people have positive stories to tell. Congratulations for trusting. I no longer have any trust or belief, but not everything works for everyone all the time.
I am now at my peak of anxiety, where I am having panic attacks and fear every single daily activity. I sit home and just do nothing which causes more anxiety. I read the book but can’t seem to get it right. i am now reading your success story and I realize there is a chance im just too afraid to heal and get better. it means fighting and you can only fight if you think you’re worth it. im still struggling with loving myself
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