Living with anxiety makes us feel like something is very wrong. Something is either wrong with our body, so wrong that we are convinced we are dying, or wrong ‘out there,’ giving us such an intense feeling of doom that, in either case, we live in a near constant state of fear.
Here's the truth:
You have a long list of symptoms, too, yes? And maybe even weird symptoms that you think no
one else has ever had, which may be true, but most likely is not. Many of the
more bizarre symptoms of anxiety are not as strange as you think.
And what about the after effects - have you ever had a post panic attack fever? I got one every time. Yes, that was past tense ;-) I am now panic free, AND I can drink caffeinated coffee again.
What simple pleasure would you like to reclaim in your life? And the bigger question: how are panic and anxiety holding you back from living the life you really want?
You might feel like you are forever lost in a threatening, dark forest. Nothing feels safe.
You feel misunderstood, alone, and are probably more sensitive than most. You are hyper-aware of your surroundings, always on alert without knowing why, and can’t seem to turn this off.
Too much, too often, quickly becomes...
Life is exhausting and overwhelming. Getting through the day without an anxiety or panic attack is a chore, and living the life of your dreams feels utterly impossible.
I often found myself stuck in a state of distress for several days after hearing or reading about some tragedy in the news. It was often too much to process and made the simplest daily tasks out of reach.
And it was all due to a heightened level of...
You are also most likely a highly empathic person, able to sense and feel the emotions of other people around you. Have you ever been told that you are 'too sensitive'?
Are crowds too much for you? Do certain types of lighting trigger you? Do some places feel okay and others not?
For me too.
How do you deal with information and energy overload? Here's what I did when I was living with unchecked anxiety on a daily basis: I spent many days at home alone, slept a lot, and sometimes literally hid under the covers of my bed.
Out of a desperate need for relief comes...
Your body reacts to the slightest change in ANYTHING… temperature, smell, sound… forcing you to try to control your environment as much as possible. You feel as if your life literally depends on it.
You ‘manage’ your anxiety by avoiding certain people, situations, or foods. My list of Don’t-Dos became longer than I than I was able to admit.
But the habit of hiding leads to...
It was hard for me to admit how many times I lied to prevent unbearable levels of anxiety or, worse, a full out panic attack. Do you have a similar story?
What I would say: “No I can’t go to the store. I’m not feeling well.”
Unspoken truth: [something about the fluorescent light and open space freaks me out and I won’t be able to breathe]
What I would say: “Oh, I’m so sorry to have to miss your party! I'm busy that day.”
Unspoken truth: [You won’t have any of my food there… I won’t know anyone… I just know I won’t be able to handle it]
Fewer and fewer friends to count on. No one understands, and over time, those people who do stick around become dull to your pain.
Which ultimately leads to...
Will things ever change??
Do you hide how bad you really feel most of the time? Save your I-really-need-to-go-to-the-hospital-this-time for the catastrophic panic attacks, the ones where you say THIS-time-I really-am-having-a-heart-attack-why-aren't-you-listening-to-me (without telling anyone that they are ALL catastrophic)??
Your suffering is very real. Anxiety and panic are creating measurable changes in your physical body, meaning, it's NOT just in your head.
Panic and anxiety aside, are you also someone who longs to ‘help’ but you’re not sure who or what or how? If so, then you are definitely in the right place. I believe there is much more to this story than most doctors, healthcare professionals, therapists, and well-meaning friends will tell you.
What if your panic was trying to tell you something? What if your very sensitive nature was meant to serve some greater purpose? What is calling you?
The ‘wrongness’ you feel is real. There is a lot in the world today that is upsetting me too, and a daily practice of reciting positive affirmations doesn't make the awfulness 'out there' any better. We need a more transformative solution, and I think anxiety is actually the key.
Maybe you have a love for animals. Or trees. Do you feel called to help stop further damage to the environment? Those who are marginalized? The homeless? Hungry children? Are you passionate about finding clean food to eat? Water to drink?
Whatever your love, you feel so deeply connected to it that describing it to someone else is impossible. And not feeling safe enough to openly share this connection uncensored is a big contributing source to your panic attacks and anxiety.
YOU are what the world needs. Your uniquely deep understanding of [fill in the blank] will give us a radical and desperately needed new perspective, one that we all need to experience. And until you do this, anxiety will continue to gnaw away at your life.
Imagine hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of us stepping into the experience of feeling free to be ourselves at the same time.
Might we create...
YES, it's time.
Heal ourselves, unite with purpose, and together we can shift the trajectory of our planet toward peace. A new paradigm is at our doorstep, and embracing the larger reality we live in is a necessary step toward our being able to accept it. Specifically, high sensitivity is what we need to be able to see and interact with this larger reality. We need you.
Sound overwhelming? Slow down and just consider that your anxiety or panic might be as intense as it is for a reason and let yourself off the hook. Because no, it's NOT because you ‘just can’t handle things.’
But first things first.
Purpose comes later, after you find the RELIEF you need and get anxiety and panic attacks under control. So take a deep breath, here we go.