You have anxiety. You hate it. All you want is to get rid of it. You try your best.
That's the short version. Here's a longer one.
When we look for information about anxiety, it is all too typical to find a one page web article, broken down into sections and paragraphs, telling me what I already know.
When it comes to Causes & Treatment, notice how the paragraphs get thinner and sound more like "No one really knows...but..."?
This is not that kind of page.
That would be redundant, a tad depressing and a very big waste of my introduction page.
For starters, no one can summarize anxiety. On one page? Are you kidding?
Secondly, those pages aren't even complete. They're great at listing down the awful symptoms, but they don’t always give me what I need. Why is this happening to me? “well, no one really knows why..”. What can I do to cure it? "so sorry, it's probably going to be lifelong for you, but you can learn to cope".
Thank you. I feel so much better now.
I don't like those web pages. They depress me.
What do I have to say about anxiety?
Yes, anxiety sucks.
It is horrible to experience. The physical symptoms. The mental symptoms. The damage it does to your present moments, your days, your weeks and in turn, your self confidence, identity, peace of mind, life’s goals, relationships, work and pretty much every other area.
When people ask you to describe your anxiety, it’s incredibly hard.
When you have a stomach ache, you can easily describe it. “I'm dying here! The pain is killing me!”.
Why can I describe a stomach ache without trouble but not anxiety?
In a stomach ache, your brain isn't compromised. It is clear, accurate and doesn't terrify you or anyone else. Your mind is in your control.
In anxiety, the brain is on its own weird trip. It is foggy, scattered and fuzzy, but also, in every second, excruciatingly terrified.
None of this is easy on you. It’s almost like you're out of your own body, looking over at yourself in shock and disbelief. Yet, the symptoms, sensations and downward spiraling, scary thoughts are automatic, and feel very, very real.
It doesn't feel like anxiety is happening to you - like a stomach ache- but it is you. Isn't it my own mind itself that's making me feel crazy?
The same mind is producing terrorizing thoughts, and the same mind is getting terrorized from itself
The same mind is competent, attentive & dependable yesterday, & the same mind is a scaredy-cat today
The same mind has been your greatest asset, most trusted friend and unconditional ally, and the same mind is now deceiving you
The loss of faith in your own sanity happens fast. It's usually at this point when one looks for help.
As if anxiety isn't painful enough, in and of itself, the journey to find relief from it is even more painful, overwhelming and depressing. And honestly, terrifying. For many, it lasts a lifetime.
When you share your terror, you are met with all kinds of counter effective responses - disdain, annoyance, criticism, terror, pity, judgment or over-protection. These, as you know, only make it worse.
It’s no one’s fault, really. They just don’t understand. Haven't experienced anxiety? You don't know jack about anxiety.
Friends, family and the worldwide web are over spilling with information, mostly ineffectual, and borderline stupid. They prescribe the very things that an anxious person doesn't care for, because they don’t work.
“Go on a cruise. Think positive. Be grateful (others have it worse). Just be happy. Stop thinking."
The sufferer has tried them all. And some more. And then some more. And discovered what?
“I feel worse”, “Nothing helps.”
So what can you do?
Hi, I'm Namita.
I’m an Anxiety Educator & Strategist supporting people in learning and practicing strategies to overcome their anxiety.
I’m also a survivor of domestic violence; developmental experiences from my family of origin which affected my experience of life - of myself, of the world I live in, of how I will view and treat myself and this world. My experiences with childhood violence that continued well into adulthood inspired me to start healing from my own journey, and commit to supporting other people with similar experiences. Along with being an Anxiety Coach, I’m also an Advocate for individuals, families & children experiencing domestic abuse and human trafficking in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Personally, in my life, anxiety is something I used to unbearably suffer from. I tried to fight it every day. I worked very, very hard to do all the right things with the hope that one day, I can catch a break.
I reached a point when I didn't think I could fight anymore.
But things changed for me.
With a new direction, I started working hard again. But this time, I tried something else.
I’m no guru or therapist. But I am someone who knows anxiety. I know both the brilliance & the annoyance of a brain-type such as ours.
Unlearning-Anxiety is my attempt to support you in better understanding what’s been happening to you, and give you a framework and practical tools to lead you out it.
If you connect with my non-mushy, slightly un-glitzy approach to giving answers, and if they make sense to you, please stay (and better still, subscribe).
Celebrate the reality that you are not alone in this world and that there are people like you - who think (and think, and think, and think), feel, observe, process and question as deeply as you do.
The next thing to celebrate is that they have found freedom from anxiety.
If they can, you can.
No amount of your suspicion will ever change the reality that there are some people who do recover. Even when your doctor has told you that anxiety is lifelong, cannot be cured, and can only be coped with.
To have trust in your own capabilities may be seem like an impossible dream right now, but with the right message, that trust will come back.
Welcome to Unlearning Anxiety. I'm so glad you are here.