Living with GAD

I have Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which is a pattern of frequent, constant worry and anxiety over many different activities and events.  The main symptom is the almost constant presence of worry or tension, even when there is little or nothing to worry about.  I also live with Obsessive-compulsive disorder which is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).

My increasing self-awareness helps me to live with my anxiety disorders and seek treatment when needed because I want to live a happy, productive life.  Self-awareness is essential to living a happy life because without it you cannot truely address what is the reasons behind the anxiety.  I chose to go on medication this past Thursday for anxiety because I could feel myself leaning towards my agorophobic tendancies.  So I’m trying something new to help and am optimistic about it.  Worrying takes so much energy.  I believe this energy would be better spent playing with my daughter, spending time with my husband, cleaning my house, developing a hobby or putting my all into my work.  If a medication treatment will help me achieve this then it’s worth a shot.

I’ve also learned that self-talk works wonders for anxiety, especially of the OCD variety.  I have this irrational fear that something really bad has happened if anyone is late.  so – I start to count – to 100.  over and over and over and over and over.  gotta tell ya.  it is tiring.  does counting really save anyone I love from a car accident?  of course not.  do I count anyways?  yes.  now when I find myself counting I tell myself firmly, “Counting doesn’t save lives, counting doesn’t count.”  I repeat as often as needed until the anxiety peaks and goes away.  Because it always does you know – peaks then goes away.  if you can force yourself not to comply with the compusion eventually it’s not so bad.

Dirt, water, fresh air and being outside really bother me.  The other day I sat outside with my daughter.  It was a beautiful spring day with gentle breeze.  We bought three pots, some herb seeds and a bag of dirt.  I filled the pots with dirt, planted the seeds and watered and forced myself to complete this task from start to finish without complaining or getting up to wash my hands.  Now everytime I look at these pots I am so proud of myself and a feel joy – true happiness because I did it – a small victory against the OCD.

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