How did I transform my life from being an anxious wreck to living a normal life?
We are all capable of living a normal life, free from worry and anxiety. Okay, you may not ever feel like standing on a podium and delivering a speech, but there are proven techniques that can move you from experiencing pain, to being relaxed and spontaneous in most social situations.
And I want to show them to you. Heck if I did it, nothing is stopping YOU!
If you’ve seen my about page, you probably know a little bit of my background. Here I just want to expand upon my story and tell you some of the hardships I endured to arrive where I am today.
In short, I was deeply affected by generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) since about the age of 7. I still cannot really work out how and why exactly it happened, but my suspicion is that the combination of it running in the family, and moving to a new county at this critical age, have left their mark on me.
I only realized I had this condition in my late twenties. Before that, I was living with this feeling that I was different, there was something wrong with me and surely nobody liked me!
Being shy and introvert, but quite a smart child, I spent a lot of time reading and learning in an effort to ease my fears and anxieties. As it later turned out, I mostly found the wrong things, but I understand now how difficult it can be to find the right information, especially in this age of digital overload!
Other things I tried to help me included hypnosis, all kinds of healing and I even sought fortune tellers’ help. I wanted quick relief you see. I am patient most of the time, but when I get uncomfortably low, I want a quick fix. That was, of course, harder to come by. You could say I was a seeker, but rarely a finder.
Progress at last
So what was the turning point, that eventually put me on the path to recovery? I cannot really claim it was just one ‘thing’, but it definitely started with a group CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) session I attended at the local hospital. This had not only opened my eyes to the REAL reasons for my discomfort, but I also met a bunch of others who dared to admit they had a problem.
It was almost like an AA class; you felt embarassed to be there, but glad at the same time you’ve done something about it. The biggest plus for me by far was when I realised I wasn’t alone in this, and there was help and hope out there!
That class only lasted 10 sessions, but I picked up enough pointers to guide me from then on. I started to notice changes looking backward, and comparing how I was then and how I am now.
How bad was it for me?
So just how bad did it get for me? Let’s say I was dreading to talk to anyone I thought was ‘better’ than me. And to be honest, that was most people I interacted with on a daily basis:
- Butterflies in my stomach before asking even the chemist for advice!
- The trembling in my voice.
- And let’s not forget the recurring red face.
I could go on, but I had years of these unpleasant symptoms.
Here’s some other facts about me:
- I speak 2 languages fluently
- I have emigrated when I was 20 years old all by myself without knowing anyone or much about the new country at all
- I am currently juggling a full-time job and I am also studying towards a degree (and managing this website!)
- I lived on a narrowboat (canal boat or barge) for a year
- I have moved houses more times than I can count
- I am into healthy eating, exercising and generally looking after my body (no way a fanatic, though I have lost 1.5st before now within a short time!).
I hope this short introduction gives you an idea of where I come from and will inspire you to try whatever you can to change your situation for the better. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch here.