People that struggle with anxiety often do so in silence. From their outward appearance, you would never know that they are dealing with heavy issues on the inside.
In a recent blog, Overcoming Anxiety, I referenced a serious car accident that I was involved in two years ago on August 8th. The memory of that accident stays with me daily, and even though it gets a little easier every day, it sometimes seems as if the anxiety from that event will never go away.
Last week I was having a typical Monday. Everyone was going about their usual tasks. My husband came home and asked if I took Sassy swimming. Nothing out of the ordinary for us.
I’m sure I appeared completely natural to him, but I was very aware of the fact that my body was instantly tense. I said no to his question and moved on to other topics, but inside my head suddenly screamed, “Are you nuts? It’s August 8th…AUGUST 8TH!”
Again, to the rest of the world, no big deal, just a regular day. That one simple, innocent question that my husband asks me all of the time had set something off inside of me on this particular day. Why? Because exactly 2 years ago I was on my way home from taking Sassy swimming when the car accident happened. Two years that my life had not been the same, even though other people might not notice. I had anxiety before that incident, but never to the degree it has turned into.
So imagine my elation when I got in the car on August 9th, put in a favorite cd, and was several miles down the road when I realized something wonderful. My shoulders were not tense, I was not holding my breath, and I was actually enjoying my music on a gorgeous day during a drive with my dog. I got through a bad day and made my way to an amazing one.
Those of us with anxiety live with many judging what they can’t see. You understand why someone with a broken leg can’t attend certain activities, but it’s not so clear why someone with anxiety struggles in different situations, like doing something as ordinary as driving their dog for a swim.
The moral to this tale is that it is getting better. I can have great days where the anxiety over that accident has faded enough that I feel like my old self. It takes work and patience, but it does happen. It is a lot easier to get to that happy place when you share your feelings with someone.