How I Broke Free from My Anxiety
I was in my second year at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing a double major in global studies and political science during the time of the pandemic. That alone drove me into a spiral, exacerbated by the fact that we were ordered home, and they relocated our lessons online.
During my quarter at the UC, in my parents’ living room, I happened to be in a class on American media. As we discussed the epidemic’s politics and the forthcoming elections, I slipped further and deeper into what seemed like a never-ending spiral.
I used to be crippled by my anxiety. It ruled every aspect of my life. I was afraid to spend time with friends, afraid to socialize, afraid to let people see me sweat (literally).
Every Day Was a Struggle
After that quarter, I dropped out of school and got a job at a taproom in my small town, where I watched politics unfold. I watched people’s confusion and pain drown out logic and reason on both sides of the aisle — it didn’t matter.
And then I’d go home and hide from the world, burnt out from a day of begging people to wear a mask. I was always worried, on edge, and terrified of the future.
The unknown was my greatest fear. I feared what might happen in the future and what people thought of me. I feared the idea of being judged. I felt like everyone was talking about me and angry at me.
My anxiety consumed me. It took over every aspect of my life. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning because I knew it would be another long day filled with stress, worry, and panic.
I would wake up at night from nightmares filled with terror, flooded with fear, heart racing, and dripping in sweat. My mind was constantly racing, trying to solve problems that didn’t exist yet.
It took me a long time to realize what was happening and even longer to seek help. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I felt like they were judging me for how and thinking I was the cause of the pandemic. Then one day, I decided that I had enough. I knew in my heart that it was time for me to make a change and do whatever it took to get rid of my anxiety.
I Didn’t Feel Safe In My Mind
Every day I felt like a puppet on a string dragged around by anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. Life was happening to me, and I had no power to stop it. I didn’t feel safe in my mind.
When I was laid off in November, my mom finally intervened, and she said all right, I’ve let you have your moment. I didn’t want to tell you what to do, but I’m pretty sure we can both agree that this is not working out for you.
So unemployed, not in school, and all my options were on the table, I decided to go back to school and pursue my master’s degree.
I felt like everything was coming at me too fast, and I felt like I was losing control, so instead of coping with the stress, I just checked out, and it got so bad that the people around me started noticing.
I was constantly anxious and scared, and the future looked uncertain. And I felt like this for days. How had I gotten to this point? What has gone wrong? Why did I feel like this?
And most importantly, how could I fix it? I needed answers. So, I set out on my journey of self-discovery and transformation.
rREST Made Me Feel Better.
For a long time, I thought my anxiety was just part of who I am.
But when it started to interfere with my work and relationships, I knew something had to change. First I started by getting rREST sessions for myself which had a tremendous impact on my life. After realizing the power of the rREST technique and a desire to help others I signed up for the rREST online coaching course that promised to be the ultimate guide to changing my life for the better.
I started the rREST coaching program, and I was like, “Wow, it’s a lot.” I was like, “I don’t know if I can do this right now. I don’t think that I am ready.” But then, after talking with my coach, she said, “It’s okay to feel overwhelmed.”
I was just so used to having those feelings of anxiety and uneasiness and not being able to handle stress in the right way that when they went away, I didn’t realize that they were gone until a few weeks later.
I Let My Coach Help Me Find Direction
I struggled to figure things out on my own. I was trying to find direction in life. I want you to imagine what it would be like if you suddenly realized you’ve been living your entire life with a lousy signal.
Imagine what it would be like if suddenly you had a crystal clear signal and everything in your world was in HD. It felt like for me when I finally got clarity on who I am and why I’m here. We’re all driven by our deepest needs and desires, but we often don’t know what those are or even where to begin figuring them out.
I wanted to find my purpose because I thought that if I did, then things would fall into place for me automatically. But that’s not how it works at all! You still have to take action, which can be scary. You have to keep pushing yourself every day to go after the important things to you — building a business or starting a family.
At First, It Was Difficult To Ask For Help
At first, it wasn’t easy to ask for help. Nothing about my world has changed. Everything was just as uncertain as it’s ever been, and it still is, but my perspective is no longer hopeless. I think a lot about this quote: every day, you have two choices: evolve or repeat.
It seems simple, but for six months and also long before that, I kept choosing to repeat despite feeling exhausted by the constant noise in my head and the never-ending physical symptoms. There were so many days when I’d wake up wishing I hadn’t woken up.
Having anxiety is like being trapped inside the worst parts of your brain while they scream the loudest things they can think of at you. Every time you leave your house, you’re arguing with yourself over whether or not you’re going to have a panic attack in public today.
Even if you don’t have a panic attack in public that day, you still have to prepare yourself because you might have one any time someone asks something of you, looks at you funny, or makes a sudden noise. After all, it’s never really over.
I Wanted To Try New Things And Learn New Skills
I wanted to try new things and learn new skills. I wanted to understand better the work I was doing and the work I had done for myself with rREST.
I used to think that public policy was the only way to change society for the better; that grueling battle over the people’s minds was the only option we had. But as a coach, rREST inspired me to change my major in my fourth year because I realized large-scale change has to start with an individual — as a person, self-growth is the starting point for all large-scale change.
I was able to see that my fear of what others thought about me prevented me from enjoying my life, and for some reason, this realization empowered me instead of making me feel hopeless.
After A While, The Inner Critic Became Quieter
I’m so grateful to all of the people who helped me see that there was another way to be, a way that didn’t involve suffering. I’m grateful to all of the people who suggested new things to try, who listened without judgment, and who shared their own stories with me (it’s always so comforting when you realize you’re not alone).
My experience with anxiety taught me that there are layers to healing — that even after you choose to evolve and do the work, there is more work to do. Everyone’s process is different, and there are no quick fixes. But what’s helped me the most is being open and honest with others about what I’m going through. I’ve heard
It’s Hard Work, But It Is Possible.
I believe that we all have the opportunity and resources to take the next step in our lives. It’s a daily practice of breaking down what is hindering us, whether actual or emotional barriers, and establishing new routines for our lives that are centered on liberty and balance. We create trust in ourselves through self-love, self-care, meditation, and practices to connect with ourselves.
We have met challenges; we have won and then re-wisened the lesson through an experience. We must do this with daily disciplines like mindful presence, writing in a journal, meditating, or exercising to receive the return on investment. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it! Celebrate who you are in this moment of existence! You’re Alive!!!