My Journey With Anxiety

My Journey With Anxiety

by Gina Bell

My journey with anxiety has been a process filled with loneliness, shame, and growth.

When we share about these things not only does it help us not be alone, but it normalizes something that is a common experience and challenge for so many of it. It can remove the shame and start the healing!.

My journey with anxiety has been going on my entire life but exploded five years ago in the form of an anxiety attack. I had just landed in Hawaii and started to feel sweaty and sick to my stomach. My breathing became rapid and short.

We collected our bags and went to urgent care. I was having an anxiety attack, but I did not know it. I had no idea why or what was happening, and I was far from home.

We tried to stay for a few days, but it was useless I was not having a good time nor was my husband. We came home, the roughest trip of my life.

There were a few trips to Hawaii after that all of them landing me in the ER or urgent care. This took a toll on me both mentally and physically.

I was no longer the pillar of strength my husband had married so many years ago. Was he going to leave me? He did not understand this “anxiety”.

I tried to get out of bed some days but just could not. I was crying all the time, feeling shame and embarrassment.

I am also a cancer survivor, but I found that much easier to discuss with people than telling them I feel anxious at times. People do not know what to do when you tell them you have anxiety attacks.

It’s almost as if I was a heroine being a cancer survivor and a weakling because of my anxiety attacks. “Just get over it”, “You are strong you can get through this”, and “Stop being so dramatic” are things people would tell me to “help me”.

I submitted my story to ADAA because anxiety is such a stigma and I am working on making it acceptable to speak about. I have received help through therapy, yoga, and support from my husband and friends. There are still days I hang my head in shame and feel the stigma society has cast upon me and so many others.

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