For the months of Jan - March, 2014, during the worst winter Chicago has ever seen...I found myself dealing with a case of GAD, generalized anxiety disorder. My therapist confirmed it. I seemed to feel anxious from morning to night, 24/7. I didn't feel like myself. My life seemed strange to me, distant. It was unnerving like a nightmare I couldn't wake up from.
But I never gave up hope that I could return to myself. I started researching anxiety and GAD. I started going to Meetup groups for people with anxiety and made some great new friends. I regularly participated in online chat rooms for anxiety which was helpful. I started doing regular physical exercise to naturally reduce stress and increase endorphins. About 50 jumping jacks in the morning, some jogging in place and sit ups.
As a nichiren buddhist, I chanted to reveal my true buddha nature, and to reveal my anxious nature to be an impostor. I found a therapist who exposed me to ACT therapy (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She also told me a bout mindful meditation. I found a GP who was great and supportive and a good listener. She put me on buspar and increased dosages for the best effect.
Gradually, my stress levels started to go down. I was better able to manage my nervousness, to befriend the affliction rather than be afraid of it. I even found myself having fun at work, being able to accomplish more. ACT therapy helped me shift my focus away from the anxiety and toward my goals, the things that gave my life meaning. And that nightmare of anxiety has slowly receded. Was it the chanting, the buspar, the therapy, the Meetup groups? Was the GAD only seasonal anxiety? Could all these things be part of the solution?
All I know is that I no longer felt the urgency to see a therapist and brought that to a happy conclusion.
I don't even call it anxiety anymore. I call it nervousness or anxiousness because those words are friendlier to me. I still take the meds
and do as much of my regime as I feel I need to. I still feel stress at times because life that's a natural part of life. But I manage better and I feel much more like myself. I just wanted to share my success in hopes that it might encourage others. Anxiousness is a tricky
thing to manage. I wish everyone the best of luck!