My first panic attack was at the beginning of college - and I was terrified and frozen at the same time and my response was to retreat.
It was the beginning of a long journey that ended with me in alcohol rehab over a decade later. It took me that long to come to terms that I suffered from anxiety and depression and deal with it in a way that allowed me to move forward.
Right now, I am writing this with an ice pack on my right knee - part of my recovery from competing in a half marathon on the weekend. My life has turned completely around since I stopped worrying - and learned some positive strategies to manage my anxiety and depression - and of course stopping drinking alcohol.
Now, I have run my second half marathon. Running long distances is just the most perfect way to get present in the moment and fall into a self meditation. Nothing, and I repeat nothing, can be on your mind when you are running up a hill and you are puffing and feeling the pinch.
The other not-so-secret I have enlisted is yoga. Yoga is a deep body massage that you give yourself. It is as complete and utterly refreshing as you choose it to be, and it comes with a ever-helpful dose of humility and body awareness as well. I do yoga four mornings a week at 6am and it is a lovely way to welcome the day - being 41 years old surrounded by nimble twenty somethings.
My anxiety and worry are still there, just that I have worked on myself enough for it to be minimised. Also, I am a voracious reader of self help and personal development books. And you can never have enough little life strategies to assist you when you need support.
Overcoming anxiety and depression has come at a huge personal cost for me. I am estranged from my family through several exhausting incidents, and I have changed career and jobs multiple times as the situation demanded. I have lost so much to this condition, but it has not broken me at all - it has become a part of who I am.
Now, I am complete and understanding and tolerant and accepting - mostly of myself and more and more so toward others. I beg you to be open and willing to explore ways to lessen the impact that anxiety, worry and depression has on your life before you start to lose things that are precious to you. Namaste.
Bren Murphy has written two books on Living Without Alcohol and edits a Sober Recovery website at AlcoholicLife.com A Husband and Father of three daughters, he maintains his yoga and running whilst working from home as a writer. He is focused on helping courageous people embrace the life changing magic of recovery and sobriety.
Social Media Links
Bren Murphy: http://www.brenmurphy.net/
Alcoholic Life: http://www.alcoholiclife.com/
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