As far back as I can remember I’ve shown signs of anxiety.
My earliest memory is in elementary school, when I would get a nervous stomach each day in the cafeteria. In high school, the same thing happened before big events, like running at a state championship cross country meet or taking my SAT’s.
In college, I assumed my anxiety was just from the transition. I attributed my depressed thoughts, nervousness in social situations and constant worrying to a variety of factors.
As I got further into my college career, I started to realize that these feelings and thoughts weren’t going away. Although I had lots of friends and did well in school, I still felt unhappy and anxious.
That’s when I knew something was wrong.
I saw a social worker my college offered through health services. I met with her on and off.
The problem was never really “solved.” I’d go through periods where I convinced myself I was fine and just overreacting. Then there were times when I didn’t even want to wake up in the morning.
It was a constant game of back-and-forth.
A few months after graduation, I landed my first “real” job near my hometown. After a few months of working, my anxiety and depression came back full-force.
This time it wasn’t like the others.
I would dread going to sleep each night.
My hands would shake. My heart would beat fast. I became hyper-aware of everything around me. I was always on edge. I couldn’t concentrate on any of my work.
It was unlike anything I had ever felt before.
Outside of work, I declined invitations to see my friends, rarely wanted to be seen in public. I was always in an irritable mood, felt unhappy with everything in my life, and considered myself worthless. The fact that my anxiety and depression were interfering with my work, relationships and, most importantly, my physical health, was a big deal.
I knew I needed to do something about it.
So one night after work, I grew the courage to go to see someone. Not just a social worker but a real life coach who could treat me and help me squash my anxiety before it got off the charts.
Here I am now. Years later. Still standing.
Anxiety is something I still battle daily. I have the coping skills and strategies which has improved my workday, relationships, and health.
Taking those small initial steps has changed my life and outlook.
As a society, we are often told that anxiety is not a big deal and that our symptoms can be controlled with an on-off switch.
Reaching out to someone who can help may seem scary.
It’s worth it in the end.
I look back on the personal struggles I’ve had and wonder how differently things may have been had I sought anxiety relief sooner. I kick myself for all those moments, events, and years that I wasn’t truly happy with myself and my life.
Knowing that so many other women go through this every day breaks my heart.
You deserve to live a happy, worry-free life, too. And you can.
P.S. And, whenever you’re ready… here are a few ways I can help you find your happiness.
Join our Live Free. Stay Free. Anxiety Support Group and connect with other driven women who are learning how to break free from their anxiety. Click Here.
Like my Facebook page, Bella Coaching Services where there are FREE tips and motivational resources. Click Here.
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Loretta Holmes, M.A. CMHWC is an ADHD and Anxiety Coach at Bella Coaching Services. Before pursuing a career in coaching, she worked as a special education teacher. Today, she combines her skills in teaching, psychology, and coaching to help humans feel like superheroes. Connect with Loretta at firstname.lastname@example.org