I grew up an extra emotionally sensitive child and in adulthood that sensitivity turned into anxiety and eventually panic attacks. I didn’t know how to deal with the daily insecurity and fear. Every day I was alive, I felt like I was going to die. I felt lost and ashamed. I tried to hide what I was suffering through. My relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and intimate partners were unauthentic and codependent. I couldn’t be myself. I felt hopeless and without any power to transform my world.
I was lost in a negative spiral. I used alcohol and drugs to try to calm the anxiety and this worked for a while but eventually it got worse and worse. I lost friendships and couldn’t support myself financially. I was a burden on my family emotionally and financially. I didn’t want to live any more because I couldn’t see a way out. Eventually I was hospitalized multiple times.
When I was in the hospital a doctor, just in passing, mentioned a book on mindfulness. I got the book and watched a few videos from the author. I saw that running away from my problems was creating more problems. I also found hope that mindfulness practices could help me stop running away and relieve my anxiety.
So I made a plan to take an 8-week mindfulness program with the intention to stop taking my anxiety medication by the end of it.I successfully quit taking my anxiety meds after 3 weeks of the 8-week mindfulness course. My anxiety levels went from a 9 or 10 out of 10 on a daily basis to about a 4 out of 10. I still had panic attacks and increased anxiety on some days, but instead of using medication to handle them, I used the mindfulness practices that I was cultivating to build resilience.
It completely changed my life. I was able to engage in life again, to develop friendships and relationships with family, and to work and earn a living.