I have been living with anxiety my whole life. You won’t see it though unless you know me very well. I also have an adventurous personality which helps override the fear of doing things, although there are times when it’s very apparent if you know what to look for.
Let me explain.
It’s not that I no longer have symptoms, they’re still there, all the time. I have learned for the most part to ignore them, to deny they even exist. I discovered the reality that I have this incidentally while reading a popular children’s book to my young children “There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon.I realized that the fears I had of flying, driving with someone else in control and surgeries were more pronounced than they should be.
In this fabulous book, Billy sees a dragon the size of a kitten and his mom denies it exists only causing the dragon to grow until it’s been noticed and denial disappears, at which time it goes back to kitten size. It’s an amazing portrayal of anxiety and how it can take hold and grow if ignored. In this sense, I deny that it exists, however, on long road trips I am a nervous wreck. My mind is forever, rushing to conclusions (usually bad) about how this trip will play out. Every hour an expected pulse of emotion on the road is causing my heart to race and my palms to sweat – it’s not comfortable – at all. I feel the same about flying now as well. For the most part, I have faced these fears and whenever I did, even though it was mega stressful, the rewards I received were just as mega. Flying, for instance, the absolute beauty of being so high in the sky looking at the little toy cars, people and houses and the end of the trip arriving at amazing places and back home again is worth the stress. Driving across Canada meant being on the road for hours and days with the reward of seeing our great country from the ground and a 1st person viewpoint. Yes, I have anxiety, but I will continue to deny it and do what I want anyway, it just takes me longer to come around to it. The opposite is true for me from the book, I deny my anxiety and it stays as small as a kitten with some growth spurts when I actually pay it some attention.
Anxiety isn’t all bad. It’s a necessary primal function meant for survival. It’s your senses telling you that something’s wrong and you should act. Fight or flight mode. It’s just a little out of whack with our new world realities. It’s a delicate balance between denying there’s a real fear or recognizing you are actually in a life threatening situation.
I have two children with anxiety and a third who does what I do and denies its’ existence.
Seriously, it’s debilitating, I get it, I know it, I feel it.
Someone needs to stop feeding the dragon. Deny it exists. Exhilarate yourself, free yourself, embrace the fear because your logical brain tells you you’re safe while your primal brain is telling you to run.
I loved this article by HuffPost today. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/06/19/anxiety-disorder-symptoms_n_7615742.html