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You're Not Alone...My Struggle With Anxiety

Hi, my name is Morgan and for as long as I can remember, I've shown signs of anxiety. I was the kid who got stomaches every morning before a spelling test in 3rd grade. I was the kid who immediately started crying and having a panic attack if my mom wasn't the first car in line at the end of the day for pick-up. Even from an early age, my anxiety was there. 

Once I got into high school/college I started to see it more clearly and more frequently. I avoided people, large crowds, and tight spaces because I knew my personal breaking points. I started to make up excuses as to why I would choose to go to one place rather than another. I would lie. I would cheat the system. I would do what some viewed "wrong" just because my body told me it felt "right." A serious relationship ended, family drama brewed, I was pushed into a college major I didn't love, and one of my best friends passed away suddenly. I turned to drinking and partying. I found myself around extremely toxic people. I was unhappy constantly and always uneasy in every single situation I was put in. 

This was the peak. I was at the point where I didn't know who I was anymore. I was drowning in depression and my own impulsive thoughts. 

This was, what I thought at the time, would be my demise. 
....but I'm here....and well, so is my anxiety. 

It's not gone and I've come to terms with the idea that it never will be. I've learned to cope in the ways that work best for me: prayer. I stop at least ten times during the day and ask for help and guidance. I know that the Jesus inside me is stronger than any darkness that threatens to overtake me. Don't get me wrong, I still have nights where I don't fall asleep until 5am because I'm thinking about a car ride I have to take tomorrow morning. I have days where coming home from work and cooking dinner seems like running a marathon. That's what anxiety is though. A marathon with no finish line. Managing your anxiety is simply a little water break along the journey of no end. I don't know about y'all, but I reach points where I'm tired of running. My feet hurt and I don't even like exercise. 

While I'm not entirely a "success story" here are a few tips that (seem to be working) for me:
1. Pick a word for the month. I've been doing this for about 6 months now and it really has proven to be a way for me to focus on different parts of my life with ease. This month happens to be FAITHFUL. During my moments of weakness/anxiety filled days I repeat FAITHFUL over and over again. I have a journal where I keep a continuous list of things I think about over the month that relate to the word. Example: Being FAITHFUL to the Lord and getting my booty out of bed at 7am on Sunday's for church. Being FAITHFUL to myself and knowing my boundaries and how to avoid being pushed over the ledge. 
2. Stop and pray. Like I said before, I do this at least ten times per day. If praying isn't something you want to do, take fifteen seconds to breath. During these moments, my brain is free from all anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts. It truly has allowed me to accomplish a lot more than would have been possible in the past. 
3. Don't be afraid to have "off days." You deserve that Saturday nap. You deserve that Sunday afternoon walk. You deserve the chance to order pizza instead of cooking a gourmet meal. Take a day off. It really is one of the best things for your body, soul, and mind. 
4. And if all else fails, grab those who mean the most to you and do whatever you need to do. Go for a run, eat a snowcone with your pup, or cry on your boyfriend's shoulder. You know yourself better than anyone. Listen to what you are being told you need.

At the end of the day, I know I'll never be "normal." This is something I will deal with for the rest of my life on some scale I'm sure. So, using this blog as an appreciation post for my boyfriend/best friend. Thanks for being my rock and the one constant in my life. 

And for those of you running this anxiety marathon, you are not alone....

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