LIFE BECAME A SERIES OF EXCUSES
Even simple things, like going to social gatherings traveling out of town could cause anxiety. I can't count the number of times I came up with excuses for why I couldn't do something. Even when I wanted to do something, I feared what would happen if I panicked.
I COULD NEVER LET MY GUARD DOWN
Even in my calmest moment, anxiety and panic lurked in the shadows. "My, what a wonderful time you're having... It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it," Anxiety would whisper in my ear on a constant basis.
NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND, SO I HID IT FROM THOSE CLOSEST TO ME
How do you explain to someone that you are at war with your mind and body every moment of every day? I knew it didn't make sense, even to myself, so how could I possibly try to explain it to my family and friends? I knew they could NEVER understand what I was going through. Or worse, they'd say...
"YOU JUST NEED TO GET OVER IT" or "I'M SURE IT WILL BE FINE"
In my mind, I knew everything would be fine and that I SHOULD just "get over it." But that was an impossible task. And every time that thought entered my mind, I felt waves of embarrassment wash over me.
AND... NOTHING WORKED!
I tried everything over the course of a decade. Books, medication, meditation, MANY counselors and therapists, yoga, prayer... no matter how much I tried and no matter how many thousands of dollars I invested, I never found the relief I craved.
Yet something in me wouldn’t give up on the idea of beating this thing. Looking back, I know now that my faith in God kept me hopeful for a better life.