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Dear anxiety, pack your bags

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I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. But I didn’t call it “anxiety,” I called it me.

Anxiety and I were so intertwined that I didn’t even notice that it was running in the background, like a hamster on an endless wheel in the center of my chest.

Have you ever not noticed a noise, and then once you noticed it you couldn’t ignore it anymore? And then it drove you crazy?  That happened with my anxiety. I couldn’t hear it for years, and then one day my doctor gave me Klonopin.

I’m just going to be honest with you here because I don’t believe I have anything to hide.  The doc treating my postpartum depression has suggested I try out a few medications, Klonopin being one of them. The first day I took it I realized what life could feel like without the hamster, without the worry, without the fear.

Then the next day came, without Klonopin.  And that’s when I heard it. That’s when I heard it like the loud air conditioner in the hotel room that stops you from falling asleep.  Except it was not an air conditioner, it was a fucking jackhammer outside my window.

After I glimpsed the world without anxiety, my current reality was so loud and so obnoxious to me that I was shocked that I could ignore something so wrong in my body for so long.

And then I asked the obvious question – can I change this?  Or more specifically, can I change this without an addictive-and-who-knows-what-the-hell-it’s-doing-to-my-brain prescription drug?

Do I really have to feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin? Do I really have to picture a killer waiting outside the shower, in the back seat of my car, or behind me when I’m washing my face? Do I really have to have sore jaw muscles every morning from clenching while I sleep?

You can’t transform something if you don’t first believe that transformation is possible.

I’m here in front of you lovely ladies today pledging that I believe it is possible to transform my anxiety.  I believe I can feel peace and calm in the midst of chaos.

I have no fucking idea how I’m going to do it, but I am going to find a way.  And don’t worry, I will tell you about it when I do!

In my life, true transformation has only happened when I put time and energy into changing something.  Now that I’ve gotten a glimpse of what is possible and what I’m missing out on, I feel pretty damn motivated to figure it out. It was that good.

I MUST believe that I can transform this anxiety. I can’t live the rest of my life with this noise. And daily benzos are not the answer. I just refuse to accept the status quo. I must transform not just for me, but for my daughter. If I don’t change now, what sort of a role model will I be if I’m scared of life or so tense that I snap at her?

Over the next few weeks I will start to try out various modalities that promise to change my mindset and thinking, as well as ways to relax and change my body.  As I try new practices, I will discuss them here and tell you what’s working. I have a few books to read and interviews to conduct, so stay tuned!

Do you have anxiety? If so, have you found anything that works for you? Tell me about it in the comments section.

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