Anxiety: Learning to just sit in it

My anxiety often can take over my day, my week, my month. Its exhausting to even recall when I’ve lived in those moments. You go to bed at night thinking “will this feeling still be here when I wake up?” and before you know it your alarm is going off and that feeling is still there. This is a battle that anyone with anxiety knows all too well. 

What I have learned to do over the years is to communicate how I feel in a sense where I’m giving someone an analogy to explain what mess is happening in my mind. Mental health is often brushed aside, your feelings are disputed and even those who you think would be there for you… are not. 

I have sought out so many different forms of therapy, tricks, and routines on how to best get a hold onto my anxiety. Mostly because I felt that no one wanted to listen to what I had going on in my head, the amount of times I have heard “it could be worse” or “there are other people dealing with much bigger problems compared to your silly nonsense” is UNREAL. Even those friends or family who were always there for me, I didn’t want to put my burden of anxiety onto them. So I had to learn to cope on my own. 

Talking to a therapist, working out, expressing my feelings through an outlet, listening to music, going for a walk, seeking out a psychiatrist for medication, journaling, meditating, breathing exercises, watching friends, keeping busy and the list goes on. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF.

And guess what… that feeling. It was still there. 

At the end of 2018, I felt a big anxiety attack building, it was like watching a storm form offshore of a beach. The waves were getting bigger and bigger and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. I knew where the trigger came from and why it was happening. I lacked the control of how to get a handle on it. And then my cousin gifted me with this book. I’ve spoken about it before and for those of you who actually read my blog you will know what book it is. “First we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson.

The phrase “it takes one to know one” popped in my head just now as I’m writing this post. And it’s true for anyone with anxiety. You more than anyone in the world who has it can understand someone who is experiencing it. It took me months to finish her book, and no it’s not because I am a slow reader. It was hard to face the facts she was putting in front of me. The feelings she felt, I felt. Some of the things she has done to help her anxiety, I had done. 

And then I got to a point where I started to try some of the suggestions. Meditating in the loudest place you can think of to drown out the noise. Creating new habits to combat the old terrible habits. And most importantly – sitting in it. 

Sit in it. 

Sit in it.

Sit in it. 

The number of times I will repeat this to myself any time my anxiety decides to join my day is unreal at times. I have learned to allow myself to be present with those feelings. Acknowledge every single crazy thought that I’m hearing in my head. And letting it go. Just sinking to the bottom of the ocean. 

Some days it sucks, and those thoughts and those feelings hurt. They hurt my head, my heart, and my body. But I have to allow it to just pass. Surrendering to my anxiety was the best way I have learned to get control over it. 

So if you too have anxiety and feel that anxious wave about to crash, just try this: sit in it. 

 

Xx Sarah

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