Don’t give in to your anxiety
Dear Annie: I have had anxiety for years. I’ve gone to counseling and am considering trying medication, but I don’t know what to do.
Most of the time, I seem fine. I can get through the day. But 90% of the time, I’m on a knife’s edge. I’m beginning to find the more exhausted I am, too. It has wrecked my sleep.
I wish I could be more confident, but much of the time, I feel like I suck at life.
Sorry for rambling like this. Is there anything I could be doing? — Crippling Anxiety
Anxiety: Let me assure you that you do not “suck at life”; these feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty are just your anxiety at play. And you’re not alone in this battle.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 265 million people in the world have an anxiety disorder. It’s an incredibly common, albeit difficult, sometimes paralyzing, human condition, but you are indeed taking the right steps to manage it.
Whether you reach out to your former counselor or seek a new one, revisit therapy. It takes time and patience to see lasting change, but don’t give up.
Medication, as you’ve mentioned, can also be helpful. Consider having a physical exam and routine bloodwork done with your primary care doctor first; it’s possible something physiological is having an impact on your anxiety, especially as it pertains to your sleep and mood.
Try to take moments each day to practice self-care in whatever way feels best to you. That might mean taking a long walk, meditating before you start your day, or calling a friend or family member to chat when you feel on edge.
Remember to be gentle with yourself. Your anxiety is just something you experience — not something that defines who you are.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” — Annie Lane’s second anthology, featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit www. creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.