how i cured my general anxiety disorder

I suffered from chronic general anxiety disorder from a very young age. It began developing after sudden traumatic events that took place in kindergarten. I was very high functioning but in a near constant state of panic for the rest of my upbringing. 

I truly had no idea that severe anxiety was not normal. I was shocked when I found out it was not the typical persons MO.

I was finally diagnosed half way through university by my school’s psychologist. She wrote me an anti-depressant prescription and sent me on my way. 

At this point in time I was well into my spiritual awakening, meditation practices, and was working to heal other chronic pains. My body had deteriorated rapidly from all the stress and it was clear that I needed to fix my sh*t if I wanted to have a chance at being healthy and having a normal life.

My chronic pain was made SO MUCH WORSE every time I stressed out, which was an odd blessing in disguise. Imagine getting a sharp stabbing pain right in your solar plexus every time you’re anxious or stressed out, eventually you’d learn that the stress was not worth the pain.

I took my anti-depressants but knew I didn’t want to be reliant on them forever. So when they kicked in, and for the first time since I was a freaking toddler felt CALM in my body, I finally knew what my goal sensation was. I needed to know what it felt like to NOT have anxiety, so I could navigate myself towards that sensation.

Then I did what no doctor would ever tell you to do (and I’m not telling you to do this either) but I stopped taking my anti-depressants. 

The moment I would feel anxiety return I would meditate or do breathing exercises. I’d focus on that peaceful sensation the meds gave me and coax my body back to that point, using deep breaths and an inner stillness. If I caught the anxiety early, this worked really really well. 

In these meditations I’d ask what triggered the anxiety in that moment, and would allow the awareness to help me clear the panic away.

When I did not catch the anxiety early I knew that cortisol was released into my system and no amount of meditating would negate that. So I took natural anxiety supplements, my favorite being Anxie-T from Life Seasons, my second favorite was magnesium, to assist with the cortisol management.

I had to be quite diligent for several months before I experienced true lasting effects. I really enjoyed the process though, funnily enough. It was empowering and I felt like I was taking control over my life and wellbeing instead of being in fear of it.

It was also mandatory for me to know WHY I had such severe anxiety, so I meditated on that question frequently, looking for the origin. 

My meditations and journaling brought me back into early kindergarten when my world view was shattered, the panic attacks that kept me awake at night throughout elementary school, and the mild bullying I experienced from my peers. Once I understood WHERE it came from, I had much more control over the situation and could reason . 

The world hasn’t stopped being scary, and it hasn’t become a nicer place. But stressing chronically about it DID NOT HELP ME. It literally created a complicated mess of health issues. So recognizing why I developed anxiety but also recognizing that it was not at all helping me feel and be safer in this world – I knew I could let it go. 

Releasing anxiety allowed more room for me to hear my intuition, and my intuition has kept me much safer, and feeling safer more than anxiety ever could.

It’s been years since I’ve had chronic general anxiety. I do have situational anxiety still but it’s manageable and infrequent. 

I’m sharing my story so that someone out there can learn that they don’t need to be an anxious mess forever, there are methods to let it go. Peace feels so, so SO good & is worth the effort.

 

My Traumas:

 For those who are curious (like me) and wonder what traumas caused my anxiety, here you go! 

At the beginning of kindergarten a girl in my classroom was murdered along with her brother, mom, and I believe grandma. I still remember the moment my teacher told us “Shanti is dead. She was shot”. She stared at the ground, did a gun motion with her hand, while we all stared up at her sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce on the colorful rug you see in most kindergarten classrooms.

It was an act of domestic violence, but my nearly-5-year-old brain didn’t grasp that. I truly thought it was a random event, that someone broke into her house for fun and killed everyone. I thought the same would happen to me and my family. 

A few days later the man killed himself before being detained by the police. For some reason my teacher told us, on September 10th 2001, that “all the bad men were gone now” and that we were safe. My mom said she knew that I took it to mean all the bad men in the entire world were taken care. 

The very next day 9/11 happened, and my mom had to explain to me why buildings were falling out of the sky and that the world was in fact not as safe a place as I had thought. 

Before these events I was a wild and carefree kid, after this the trauma slowly sank in and the anxious ways developed as the years grew on.

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