“Life has a way of testing our anchors and tempting us to drift. Nevertheless, if our anchors are correctly placed in the right hands they will hold. No matter the force of the wind, the strength of the tide or the height of the waves.” – Anonymous
If there’s one thing I’m sure of as a person who struggles with an Anxiety Disorder, it’s that life is full of storms. A lot of times, out of the blue, life decides to throw a kink in our plans and completely throw us off course.
Now, change is difficult for everyone in some way. Yet, dealing with change and a Mental Health Disorder can seem unbelievably scary and damn near impossible most of the time.
You see, as anxious individuals we love to plan. We thrive on the idea that we constantly have some control over our lives (totally not true, but it’s how our minds work). Therefor, when something destroys our carefully thought out plans, we panic.
We simply don’t know how to process it.
I recently experienced this exact situation where everything was going so perfect and then…BOOM, out of nowhere things took a completely different, unforeseen path.
And you can bet your ass I did nothing but panic for 4 days straight.
One of the most frustrating things about Generalized Anxiety Disorder is you have rational and irrational thoughts simultaneously. You know what you should be thinking or feeling, but your emotions are the complete opposite.
No matter how many times I say my mantras or meditate or journal or deep breath, this situation of change and uncertainty scares the shit out of me. It’s an uncontrollable, irrational fear that becomes consuming if you don’t get a grip.
I often get asked, “how do you make it through those times of mass chaos and uncontrollable change?” Honestly, it’s my anchors.
Now, anchors can be seen as a positive or negative. Sometimes your past can become like an anchor, dragging you down to the bottom. However, in Mental Health Disorders they also represent those who make you feel steady in times of chaos and confusion.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my 12 year journey with anxiety is that surrounding yourself with people who truly love, support and care for you is the most important thing you can do.
While your friends or family may not understand exactly what you’re going through, just their mere support, listening ears and comforting arms can make all the difference in the world, especially when dealing with the waves of change.
I’ve been beyond blessed to have 3 solid anchors my entire life: My Mother, Father and Sister. They’ve been right there with me as I’ve struggled with the highs and lows, ups and downs of my Anxiety Disorder for the past 12 years.
I’ve called them at 3am during an anxiety attack, and I never had to wonder if they would answer. They’ve held my hand as I cried, laid beside me doing absolutely nothing and have celebrated every single thing I’ve achieved in life.
They are my anchors on which I am able to steady myself in the raging storms of life.
These 3 are my people.
They’re my safe place when things get too tough or life becomes too overwhelming. They are the rock on which I have built a foundation of never ending trust and respect. They protect me from the cruel and invalid lies that my anxiety places in my head.
These 3 saints have never judged me or made me feel less than extraordinary. I’ve received constant reassurance and guidance without biased opinions, mockery or pity.
When the seas get rough, they never waiver or drift. When I think I’m going crazy, they’re right beside me to tell me that everything will be okay.
It’s also been extremely nice to add a couple of friends to my list of anchors as well. We are continually building that trusting relationship that is free of any doubt or insecurity. It feels good to add more people to the tribe.
I honestly hope to continue expanding my circle to include my future partner and may another friend or two someday, but all things come to fruition at the perfect time.
If you struggle with a Mental Health Disorder, I seriously encourage you to find these people in your life (if you haven’t already). Surround yourself with a handful of individuals that you can undeniably count on.
Anxiety will always be a wolf in sheeps clothing. It will always try to make you think that it’s doing you a favor by preparing you for the worst case scenarios when really all it’s doing is taking us out of the present moment and stealing our joy.
Learn to build a bridge of trust with your anchors so that you can open up to them without fear or regret. Holding everything inside will do nothing but allow anxiety to consume you and take you away from the beautiful life you deserve.
With each passing day and each trial you make it through, you’ll begin to have more confidence in your ability/yourself and give less power to that anxious monster inside your head.
And when the waves start getting rocky and the storms of life appear out of nowhere, remember you are not alone. Find your anchors, hold on tight and watch the storms of this life pass you by.
Myka Shantell 💋