One of my earliest memories from my childhood is when I experienced a high level of anxiety. When asked about the earliest memories of childhood, many people recall their first day of kindergarten, playing in the park with their friends, or running around in the backyard. I, however, have a bit of a different recollection. That’s not to say that I didn’t have good childhood memories, because I did. However, so many of those memories are tainted with anxiety. It makes me sad to know that my journey with anxiety began so young. I often feel like I was robbed of the childhood I wished I had.
I started experiencing anxiety as early as five years old. As I got older, my anxiety grew with me. As I got bigger, so did my anxiety. All through my youth, I remember feeling so on edge all of the time. I was always waiting for something bad to happen. I knew something wasn’t quite right, but I didn’t know how to verbalize it. Do you know how terrifying it can be not knowing what’s going on inside your own body?
Fast forward to when I was 18 years old, and it felt like the world was crashing down on me. I was in an unhealthy, abusive relationship, and my anxiety was at an ALL time high. I felt so disconnected from myself, the world, and the people in my life. I didn’t know what to do or how to make it through life. Everything felt so dark and hopeless. I had slipped into a depression and I needed help.
After spending nearly every day in what felt like my own personal prison, I decided to reach out for help. My family had known something wasn’t right and kept wanting to talk to me about it, but for so long, I denied it. I think in a way, I was scared to heal. I feared getting better. Feeling anxious and depressed was familiar. It was what I knew for so long. However, it wasn’t serving me, and it was prohibiting me from living the life I wanted to live.
Finally, I was able to admit that the way I had been living wasn’t healthy. More importantly, the way I was living wasn’t necessary. I didn’t need to suffer any longer than I already did. It was time to make a change.