Oprah Winfrey said in a 2013 interview that anxiety nearly caused her to have a nervous breakdown. “In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing,” she said. “I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down, I’m gonna be in serious trouble.”
We live in a world where we are always trying to prove ourselves to someone — whether its to your family, partner or even society. Even when we feel as if we may not — subconsciously we still can. My subconscious feelings/thoughts is what ended me to be here… dealing with anxiety.
I try to be open and genuine when I speak about mental health issues and make it no secret that I have/had a therapist (this was my first time in personal therapy and searching for a different therapist at the moment). During my therapy sessions, I learned a lot — especially about myself. More than anything, I learned that my subconscious thoughts are sort of — affecting me. It’s a lot of science when it comes to our brains and subconscious and conscious processing. I have always known that I had anxiety, but I was always in denial about it.
Anxiety + Asthma = not a good combination.
In the black community, God is your therapist and mental health issues are only for “crazy people”. Un-teaching my brain is a different hassle.
See, in therapy, you are not taught to forget your trauma or fears, but how to learn different tools to cope with them. What people do not tell you is that the trauma that you have experienced will affect you for the rest of your life. Losing a parent that was your #1 support system will forever screw you up. Being in an entire different country in a dangerous situation that have you pleading for your life will forever subconsciously affect you. Being in a toxic work environment where you are underpaid, overworked and devalued (while you are in a mental space of questioning and learning your work-value), will leave you questioning. Having fear of failure to prove yourself to the world that you are MORE than enough, will forever haunt you.
The thing about anxiety, is that it creeps on you — even when you are feeling your most high (no pun intended). It sucks all the breath out of you and fights with your heart — literally being able to feel your heart pounding out of your chest, gasping for air. Full of sweat and your mind is just racing.
I have spoken with many of my friends — a lot of them even about their personal anxiety issues and how they have dealt with it.
It means a lot when people open up to me and speak to me about their experiences. Unfortunately, there is no natural cure for anxiety (medication will never be for me) but I wanted to share some things that I am practicing:
1. Stay around POSITIVITY. I have 0% tolerance for negativity. If I feel a crawl of negativity from someone, I will block it out of my life. I have nothing but love to give to people and need it reciprocated.
2. Be STILL. I’m a busy body. I get bored when I have to rest. My morning start around 7:30/8a and end around 11/12a. Being still for me means: meditate, pray and listen.
3. Stay STRESS-LESS. Being stress-less is nearly impossible, but its about what “you do” to get over stress and what you can control.
Clearly, this is my biggest one — being that anxiety stems from stress.
I talk about these things because its real and I don’t hear about this enough. The thing about anxiety is that it doesn’t go away. Anxiety affects more than 40 millions people in the world and a forever battle.
If you feel comfortable sharing your experience(s), let me know how do you handle your anxiety in the comments below! Message or DM me (via IG) if you need someone to talk about it with privately. I am always open… we could even help each other overcome this!
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