So, I wrote a post last week about how I was about to stand in front of a crowd and host a show… the first time getting in front of a crowd since life was completely turned upside down by crippling anxiety that got so severe, it turned into constant panic attacks, which then led to agoraphobia.
I was in therapy for a long time. The first goal was to get me to a point where I could walk outside of my apartment. Then the goal was help to me in public spaces, like grocery stores and malls. Finally, through exposure therapy, the goal was to make me feel comfortable anywhere. Me and my therapist wanted to completely get rid of that fear of the outside word.
In the beginning, it felt like I was stranded in the middle of an open ocean. Endless water. No shore in sight. It was overwhelming. I felt like I would drown in the outside world, with no place to rest my tired body. And I won’t lie, I did in fact have many a panic attack during the early stages of therapy. Dude, I was legit a fuckin’ mess hahah! I can’t even believe how crazy I was when I look back at it now.
And why do we have those panic attacks? We fear that beneath the surface, there may danger. Like something is about to go wrong…like the world is about to fall apart.
But over time, I got better. I got stronger. I grew brave. And after a while, the outside world didn’t scare me anymore. I realized that I allowed my agoraphobia to go on longer that I should have because I never challenged it. I allowed it to control me.
But then I stopped. And do you know what happened last night? Absolutely nothing. I went onto that stage and owned it. I didn’t shake. I didn’t freeze up. I didn’t even sweat. I was the best me I could have been, and it was amazing.
And guess what, I had a great time! I loved the event last night, and it will be a memory I will always have! Looking back, I’m like…I could have been doing this all along! I could have been experiencing all this exciting stuff for years now! Why did I let anxiety control my life?????
And you know what happens when you stop fearing everything?
…you’re then able to realize how beautiful it all is.
It’s never too late to live your life
~ The Dark Horse
Feeling like you need help? Call your local Lifeline support line. Another great resource I love is an Aussie website called Beyond Blue