Love, Life Stories

Here’s how I live happily with my anxiety disorder

My anxiety is a huge part of who I am today. And I like me.

At the ripe old age of 27.5 I can honestly say I like myself. I’m a great hang. Me and myself have great convos. I never judge myself for how much I eat (I’m a secret eater because everyone else does). There is nothing I enjoy more than a whole day with nowhere to be and no one to talk to.

[bctt tweet=” I felt like my life was stagnating. I spent a full weekend in mourning. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

When I was about to turn 27 I had a mini-crisis. I felt like my life was stagnating. I spent a full weekend in mourning. 26 felt like youth, 27 felt like adulthood in a way that was uncomfortably final. But after some time in deep thought, I came to the conclusion that I don’t have any regrets. Sure I’ve made mistakes but I’ve tried to learn from each and every one. And I like the direction my life is going in.

[bctt tweet=” I don’t regret having anxiety. I feel like it’s a been a huge factor in making me who I am.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I’ve come to a similar conclusion about my anxiety. So while I think optimally I would have a prescription for emergencies, and regular therapy, I don’t regret having anxiety. I feel like it’s a been a huge factor in making me who I am today.  And present day me is enough. I like her.

1. Having anxiety has made me super responsible

giphy
giphy

I’m not the only person who checks twenty times if they locked the car, or if their keys are in their bag. When your brain gets stuck replaying a specific thought on loop, you learn to do whatever it takes to avoid that. For me that means having little rituals to avoid thinking, and therefore avoid panicking.

[bctt tweet=”I’m not the only person who checks twenty times if they locked the car.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I have morning rituals so I don’t have to think when I need to be out of the house in a certain time frame. I google things before I do them for the first time so I don’t get overwhelmed by variables.  I keep lists now that I’m an adult. I put things in the same place every time. I stick to my routines. I’m constructive.

2. I’ve learned to redirect my thoughts

life as you make it
life as you make it

Mind over matter, motherfuckasss.

I’ve learned to focus my thoughts by organizing them according to: (1) what do I have to do, (2) what am I doing now, and (3) did I do what I had to do. Once I know I did that thing I had to do, that’s it, that thought is gone. I don’t waste energy on what-ifs. Because I tried my best. I try to be present and constructive in all things. I’ve learned to blast music to derail a thought train.

[bctt tweet=”I’ve learned to blast music to derail a thought train.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I’ve learned to turn on an episode of a sitcom I can quote word for word to silence my head before bed. I’ve learned that prayer and yoga aren’t the only forms of meditation, something a simple as a cigarette on a clear day can be incredibly centering. If my anxiety is like having a thought stuck on loop, then I try to whatever I can to find the ‘next’ button.

3. I’ve learned to be my own advocate

the fresh quotes
the fresh quotes

As a result of trying to live with an anxiety disorder I’ve had to learn to defend myself in an effort to stay sane. I’ve had to learn to stand up for myself and defend my needs as valid. I’ve learned to communicate my needs, as opposed to bottling everything up like I used to. I’ve learned to articulate what my boundaries are, and defend them. So, now when I have a bad anxiety day, I can tell someone, “Hey, sorry I went off the grid, bad anxiety day,” and most of the time they get it. A lot of people struggle with anxiety, so they can empathize.

[bctt tweet=”Womp womp. I still tried my best, and that’s good enough for me.” username=”wearethetempest”]

But every so often someone will be insensitive, and in those instances it’s hard to stand up for yourself. Ultimately, I don’t owe anyone anything. I’m very much upfront with everyone in my life that I try my best. Sometimes my best isn’t good enough.

Womp womp. I still tried my best, and that’s good enough for me.