Anxiety

Anxiety.

I feel it right this second, writing this post.

It’s always been there. I just didn’t realize it was anywhere outside of the norm.

From a young age, I picked at my lips. Picked and picked. My father would yell at me, “stop picking your lips!!” or “Are you going to peel all the skin off your lips?!”.

I didn’t know. I just had to. Couldn’t control it. There’s an anxious feeling I can’t describe when I’m about to peel the last layer of skin off my lips and then they begin to bleed, then the feeling of “oh no, what have I done”.

I’ve come a long way since that time.

I haven’t peeled my lips to bleeding in a long time. I still do it more than I would like to admit, though.

See, when I first went to school to become a dietitian, I used to think to myself: I’m going to have to stop doing this. No one is going to trust a dietitian with scabby lips. I’ll be able to stop when I’m a dietitian because I’ll be a “professional”. A professional wouldn’t do something like that, right?

Right?!

We all know that there aren’t any doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who do anything that’s not good for them, right? {An aside — we tend to expect perfection in ourselves but not in anyone else…} /sarcasm.

Clearly Becoming a Dietitian Wasn’t the Answer to Anxiety and Picking…

There was always a moment, somewhere in the future, where I knew I would stop the picking. I just didn’t make it a priority at first because I thought it was something that would fix itself over time. I didn’t realize what I needed to do to solve this embarrassing problem.

The picking wasn’t, and isn’t the problem, though. It was and remains the symptom of a deeper problem, which shows readily on my face. My lips will always reveal the state of my current anxiety and emotions. I wear this badge of imperfection. And if I couldn’t figure out how to ease my anxious and jumpy mind, I wouldn’t learn to be effective at almost anything I put my mind to.

The Problem With Anxiety…

Anxiety keeps you in a time loop. You’re living the same negative thoughts, dreams and emotions over and over again, without hope for reprieve. Meanwhile, those of us who are professionals with jobs, families and responsibilities, continue our duties without much of the world knowing there is any kind of an issue. At least until they stop by and see some evidence of a person who doesn’t “have it all together”, like a messy house and state of affairs. Misery ensues, because you can’t explain, not even to yourself, or your spouse.

Isn’t it funny, how we’re all pretending in here to be some kind of embodiment of perfection? Or at least some semblance of “normal”? But if we could just stop and admit that maybe we don’t have it all together sometimes, …maybe we could reach out a helping hand to someone else who really needs it, or accept one when that’s what we need.

Anxiety Prevents Me from Living…

Anxiety hasn’t allowed me to do the things I want to do, deep down in my soul. I often start public projects (like this blog), and then bow out gracefully before any impact can be made because of it. It’s time for me to be more brave, so that I can truly make an impact on others in the world who need it with the knowledge and wisdom I have gained through this process.

I’ve Overcome So Much.

I’ve broken free, most days. Most days, I go outside, breathe in the fresh air… and I feel… good. Free. It’s a great feeling, and it’s because of price I’ve paid, learning everything there is to know about what I need to do — Cognitively, Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally. Slips do happen but they become shorter and less frequent, because a slip back into anxiety is a slip back into depression, fear, angst and a place I don’t want to be… most of the time. I’ve been happily medication free for several years now because of diet and lifestyle changes…and I do everything within my power to keep it that way, naturally.

My Dream…

For that reason, I felt it imperative to create a community for those who struggle with this crippling anxiety as I have. If you feel struck down by it, paralyzed, caught in the time loop… please, join me in my new Facebook Group: Anti-Anxiety Diet and Lifestyle. I plan to share some of what I’ve learned about what you can do day-to-day to calm this crazy beast. Because I’m a Dietitian, much of it will be diet related, but not all. I have learned that Diet is not even the largest portion of calming anxiety, albeit it is a very large part. There is so much more to share, but now is not the time.

 

Of course I will continue to post about my journey here, but members of the group will get Live Videos and a more real, honest approach to the changes necessary to begin to alleviate the burden of anxiety, as I have personally dealt with it myself and feel more comfortable sharing this in a group of like minded others who have done the same.

Head over to my group, and join me as I share my journey toward a stress and anxiety free life, as I continue to climb that mountain.

 

Samantha

 

 

PS – Please post in the comments your own experience with anxiety. I just read an article that it has overtaken Depression as the most common mental disorder in the United States. I believe about a third of us have anxiety in some form. Isn’t that crazy? Let me know what your biggest struggle is and how I can help.

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