When I was in the full throws of anxiety, I struggled to visualise who I would be without it because it was one of the few things that I was certain of - I was an anxious person and I was very good at it.
I wore anxiety like a spiked comfort blanket; a blanket that gave both reassurance and pain at the same time, but despite the torture it inflicted upon me, I was terrified to remove it because I feared who I would be without it.
I walked in this world of pain for years, until I decided I'd had enough. I knew that if I did not fight it head on, my life was over. Everyday was a living nightmare punctured with FEAR, pain, terror and so many bodily reactions it was beyond overwhelming. I prayed at night that I would die in my sleep because the thought of waking to another day of 'it' was too much. No-one seemed to understand and I get that now, because the reality was I didn't understand it myself.
I did it - I fought back over 12 months or so, and I won. The woman who was too terrified to go to the supermarket, or on a night out, gained a degree in counselling. The woman that cancelled 2 holidays to Spain, because she couldn't fly, emigrated from England to Australia. The woman that wore the cloak of anxiety, removed it and stamped all over it and shredded it to make sure she would never have to wear it again.
What I want to say is that there is hope because if I can go from a lifetime (from childhood) of living with anxiety to overcoming it (plus a lot more since), anyone can. 🌸
As a child anxiety felt like unexplained terror that would come on as quickly as the flick of a switch. I never understood what was happening inside of my mind and body. I hated the fear that pumped through my veins like ice, for no reason. I hated the nausea that rose within me, stealing my appetite. I hated that it made me act weird at times; I could go from being a normal relaxed child, to a terrified anxious wreck within seconds, and what chance did I have of explaining how I felt when I did not understand it myself. I just assumed everyone felt this way, but I spent a lot of time in my own head feeling scared and confused about my own body. I spent a lot of time away from school because anxiety sat beside me in the classroom, invisible to everyone else in the room but a constant reminder to me that I was terrified.
If only my parents had sat me down and talked about what I was going through, and explained how anxiety impacts on the mind and body, maybe I would not have spent all of my teens suffering. Maybe if I had understood that it was simply too much adrenalin pumping through my body I would have felt able to fight it.
I gave so many years of my life to anxiety and like the greedy monster that it is, the more I gave it, the more it wanted. It ate into my early adult years and stopped me from being married in a church, because the thought of all of those people looking at me terrified me. It stopped me accepting promotions, going overseas, enjoying nights out with friends and so much more.
That was many years ago now because i found a way through anxiety and I am now stronger and more determined than I ever thought possible, but it was not an easy battle to win, and it's not something I would wish on anyone.
I have since gained a degree & a graduate diploma in Counselling, I moved from the UK to Australia and have travelled the world, and my passion is helping children that have been affected by trauma and anxiety.
As a former child anxiety sufferer and counsellor, the best thing that parents can do is educate their children about what anxiety is, and encourage self care and relaxation.
Each child's story is unique, but anxiety remains the same in the way that it affects children and family members, and the foundations for overcoming anxiety start with educating children about what it is, and how it makes you feel and how to look after yourself in order to reduce it. (For further information, worksheets are available in my shop).
Laura - Inner Peace Bears
As a former sufferer of childhood anxiety, my passion is helping children and parents overcome anxiety. I currently work as a child trauma counsellor part time and in my spare time I write and build my website which has a shop dedicated with resources that aim to reduce anxiety. Thank you for reading my blog. Laura 🌸