Robin Callow, MSW, LSWAIC
Anxiety can be simply described as “fear of the unknown”. Fear of an unexpected outcome. Fear of an event. Eventually, anxiety and those overwhelming and all-encompassing fears surround us, shrinking our world and our lives, smaller and smaller, until we are living limited lives. Afraid to go anywhere. Afraid to meet new people. Afraid to experience new places and opportunities. Anxieties help us create walls to avoid our fears.
Afraid to drive? Have a family member drive you places. Afraid to fly? Don’t go on amazing vacations. Afraid of meeting new people? It’s so much easier to stay home then.
But what happens when we decide to confront those walls that our anxiety has helped erect in our lives? We become brave, just a bit at time. Brave enough to face our fears and do it anyway. Brave enough to put one foot in front of the other and keep trying even though our anxiety makes us feel sick, overwhelmed, and panicky. Anxiety will not kill us. It may make us afraid and uncomfortable, but anxiety on its own is not the culprit of death. Stress created diseases, yes. Death by panic attack? No.
Our lives are short. We are meant to live them fully. When overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, and panic take a deep breathe, center yourself, and move forward. Just a step at a time. Don’t wait for someone to “fix” you. Don’t wait for someone to come drive you, support you, assist you. Support yourself. Step ahead. Fear of the unknown dissipates when we begin to explore the things that once frightened us.
Be brave. Embrace life.