The issue of anxiety is a common theme in relation to substance abuse. When you add anxiety to the mix your emotions can become a handful, and in turn, everything becomes a handful. At some point, you might move past bad habits. As a result, we gain proper footing in life, along with support, and a healthy relationship with yourself. For me, similar to addiction, anxiety is always there. We must learn tools to keep our anxiety at a safe level so we can function and live full lives.
When you’re struck with anxiety it feels like you’re being thrown into a pit. A pit from your past, and it swallows you whole. I feel like an entirely different person when I am having an anxiety attack, fitting because anxiety has many different faces. It can strike at any point in time, for a multitude of reasons. While you might not be dealing with something on the surface, anxiety can still express itself. On the inside, you might be a mess, and you may hit a wall. After I experience an anxiety attack I feel like I have run a marathon, emotionally and physically.
Having talked to people stricken with anxiety, I can certainly say that it is something we all feel embarrassed about. You almost feel as though others don’t believe you’re actually struggling. I have had multiple people look at me in the midst of my fear with confusion in their eyes. They want to help, but their actions suggest they doubt me. I picture myself as a towel being rung out to dry. Anxiety being the hands that squeeze me.
So why do we experience anxiety? Hard question to answer, right? That’s because it is for a number of reasons. Anxiety struggles and substance abuse issues have many contributing factors. I think the only way we can properly tackle these contributing factors is by encouraging those who are struggling to speak on their experiences. Talking together is the only way to move forward. Communication in the family, relationship turmoil, financial struggles, these are just three common but big stressors in life that many of us face.
People start to look for an escape from their pain and their life. If you have been struggling with irrational fear or panic it could mean there is something bothering you at the core of yourself and it is affecting how you function. I have viewed anxiety as a spiritual imbalance. I have also viewed addiction in this way as well. This is why various forms of meditation and self-talk are so wholesome and necessary in regards to getting yourself back on track and taking back control of how you feel and what you do every day of your life. Another useful tool that we MUST consider to utilize is having open discussions with ourselves.
Other people want to see you, know your name, hear your story, and feel your courage. Most importantly they want to learn from your story. Expression is what keeps us alive. We are all artists of our own life. Talk about what you struggle with, and listen to other people’s problems. This is how we find our way out of the dark. Together hand in hand. Chasing away our anxieties, and saying goodbye to our demons.