Real Anxiety Stories from Real People

Anxiety disorders are more common than we may think, but since it is silent and not easily visible we often think we are alone.

While there are 40 million Americans diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, with many more who have not been diagnosed not including children! We are not alone in this, and I have included real stories from real people with anxiety disorders courtesy of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

While there are 40 million Americans diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, with many more who have not been diagnosed not including children! We are not alone in this, and I have included real stories from real people with anxiety disorders courtesy of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

Broken for a Reason

Last year, I shared my personal anxiety struggles with the world. I talked about the importance of self-love and acceptance. I wrote that I accepted where I was and what I had been through. Looking back, I was a little ahead of myself. Acceptance for me is truly a journey. Vital, but never-ending. Last May, I had 263 people reach out to me. People that I knew and loved, people that I hadn’t spoken to in years, people that I didn’t know at all. 263 people contacted me to thank me for speaking up; to ask me for help. I was so extremely grateful to know that by sharing I was benefiting others, but true to form, my anxiety reared its ugly head. Only two months after I pled to you about acceptance, I had arrived at the worst day of my life. On July 6, 2017, I attempted suicide.

My definition of anxiety has changed a bit since July. Anxiety for me is extreme negativity, a general sense of aching. Not like a muscle aching, but an aching in my soul. It makes it difficult to appreciate myself. How badly I just want to accept it, but no matter how hard I try, what I achieve, or how much I improve, it is steadfast. Like a deep burning. A dull ache in my childhood grew into a nagging soreness in my adolescence, then spiraled into a throbbing pain in adulthood. It was always there. I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t avoid it.

The few people who knew about last July asked me why. What got you to this place? To elaborate on last May’s article, I spent my life chasing perfection. In my childhood, I was surrounded by people who always wanted more from me. In my teenage years, I looked up to people who tried to mold me into someone I wasn’t. Who tried to change me to reflect their standards of perfection. Who told me that who I was wasn’t enough. In adulthood, I faced physical trauma. I was surrounded by loss. I was isolated. I hurt someone I loved so intensely. In a moment of selfishness, I made a mistake. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I hated myself.

After that article came out, everything I had spent that last few years trying to accept came back with a vengeance. I spent the weekend prior to July 6th surrounded by people I loved, and I was still miserable. The temporary avoidance wasn’t enough. I spent the minutes dreading going home; dreading having to confront the pain; dreading being alone. On my way back, I prayed for my plane to go down. I prayed for the pain to be taken from me. But when I landed, it was still there. The agony transformed into a hole in my chest; an emptiness in my heart. The emptiness became unbearable. The mistakes I made were irreversible. The person that remained was irreparable. I was finally done.

This year of my life is not something I have an easy time sharing with people, but I write this because July 6th truly changed me for the better. It gave me purpose, it revealed my calling, and I learned lessons that I need to share because if I didn’t, I would be doing the world a disservice. I was on the right path last year with self-love and acceptance. Those are two very important and therapeutic things, as is speaking your truth. I learned about transparency. I know that just because you struggle with something, doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. It doesn’t mean you’re vulnerable. It doesn’t mean you are any less than anyone else. I learned about resilience. I saw how low life can take you. I know exactly how it feels and exactly how long it takes to repair a soul that is broken. I discovered how strong people can be in those moments when life is telling you to surrender, but you choose not to.

The most touching lessons are those that I learned from other people and how they reacted to July 6th. I learned selflessness from my family, who dropped everything to be with me and stayed by my side until I could stand on my own again. I learned empathy from my friends who constantly checked on me, who flew out to be with me, and who sent me care packages to let me know they were thinking of me. I learned it from my Aunt who still, to this day, sends me texts of hearts that I wake up to every morning. She hasn’t missed a day since July. My most important lesson, and the one I struggled with the most, was forgiveness. I learned this from my best friend and the person that I was in love with, who forgave me for my mistakes, even though he didn’t need to. I learned this as I forgave myself for my faults, for my slip-ups, and for years of torture that I put on myself.

If you have ever felt like me, please hear me- the pain you feel is not forever. It is not irreversible. You can come back, and you will come back. Find your community and immerse yourself in them until you can stand on your own again. If you look around and think you’re alone, you’re not. I am your community. ADAA is your community. The people who have written their personal stories of triumph are your community. If you can find the courage to admit that you are struggling, the people will manifest before you to support you. I am here with you. I will stand with you. That’s what people did for me- my family, my friends, complete strangers. They stood with me, whether they realized it or not.

I grew up believing that we need to go through things alone to avoid being viewed as weak. To the 263 people that wrote me last year- you showed me that I’m not alone. There are lessons learned in isolation, but there is far greater strength in community. You can succumb to difficult days, you can succumb to your mistakes, you can surrender to negativity, or you can use them. You can let the things that have broken you fuel you. You can realize that you were broken for a reason, and then you can put yourself back together.

I have lived with anxiety since 2009. I was 22 years old. My first panic attack occurred that year. About 45 minutes into a car drive I felt as if I was going to die. I could not breathe and had to pull the car off the road and walk for hours to try and catch my breath. That was my introduction to anxiety and I had no idea that I was about to embark on a back and forth journey for years to come.

I thought I was alone in my struggles and that no one else could possibly be dealing with what I was dealing with. Reaching out for help turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.

I began to see a counselor who explained to me that I was suffering from a combination of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. This is where ADAA came into my life. Simple information about the disorders I was dealing with gave me clarity and immediately helped with some of the extreme symptoms. ADAA and my Counselor also showed me tools like focusing on breathing, meditation, positive self-talk and other actionable steps that began to help immediately as well.

The real point of me sharing this story is not to bring focus to me or my story exclusively. It is to show how one simple step of reaching out for help changed my life tremendously and changed my life quickly. None of us are alone in this battle. My anxiety issues are still extremely relevant and I deal with the battle on a daily basis. But the battle now is one that I embrace. I am proud of the battle. We all have different characteristics and one of mine just happens to be an anxiety disorder….or two or three.

I graduated college. I earned a graduate certification in Sport and Fitness Psychology. I am the Vice President of a very successful company in Southern California. I have and deal with anxiety. Anxiety is not a negative that we need to resist and be ashamed of. Anxiety is just an attribute that some of us have and some of us don’t. If you do, embrace all of it, reach out for help and educate yourself on tools and concepts to improve your quality of life and coping skills.

This is my story. It is a simple one but I hope it helps anyone out there who is being timid about their anxiety. So many people are dealing with some form of anxiety issues and they are hiding it. Embrace it. Own it. Change your life.

Being Ok with Not Being Ok

I have lived with anxiety since 2009. I was 22 years old. My first panic attack occurred that year. About 45 minutes into a car drive I felt as if I was going to die. I could not breathe and had to pull the car off the road and walk for hours to try and catch my breath. That was my introduction to anxiety and I had no idea that I was about to embark on a back and forth journey for years to come.

I thought I was alone in my struggles and that no one else could possibly be dealing with what I was dealing with. Reaching out for help turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.

I began to see a counselor who explained to me that I was suffering from a combination of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. This is where ADAA came into my life. Simple information about the disorders I was dealing with gave me clarity and immediately helped with some of the extreme symptoms. ADAA and my Counselor also showed me tools like focusing on breathing, meditation, positive self-talk and other actionable steps that began to help immediately as well.

The real point of me sharing this story is not to bring focus to me or my story exclusively. It is to show how one simple step of reaching out for help changed my life tremendously and changed my life quickly. None of us are alone in this battle. My anxiety issues are still extremely relevant and I deal with the battle on a daily basis. But the battle now is one that I embrace. I am proud of the battle. We all have different characteristics and one of mine just happens to be an anxiety disorder….or two or three.

I graduated college. I earned a graduate certification in Sport and Fitness Psychology. I am the Vice President of a very successful company in Southern California. I have and deal with anxiety. Anxiety is not a negative that we need to resist and be ashamed of. Anxiety is just an attribute that some of us have and some of us don’t. If you do, embrace all of it, reach out for help and educate yourself on tools and concepts to improve your quality of life and coping skills.

This is my story. It is a simple one but I hope it helps anyone out there who is being timid about their anxiety. So many people are dealing with some form of anxiety issues and they are hiding it. Embrace it. Own it. Change your life.

I Beat Anxiety & Depression

My name is Kellene Diana and I used to struggle with anxiety and depression. Nobody understood or wanted to understand; in fact they called me names and passed judgment before they even knew what I was going through. It made me so afraid to speak up and speak out about it that it completely silenced me for years.

For a very long time I was full of anxiety, depression, fear, anger, self-doubt, low self-esteem and alcohol.  Everything was hurting me emotionally, mentally and physically!

But, as scary as it was, I took a stand and put up a serious fight for my soul, my health, my spirit and everything that matters in this life! I stopped caring about what people thought and started caring more about getting better.

I got so tired of the panic attacks, the constant tears, the “what ifs,” the fears, the lack of self-confidence and the hangovers!  I knew in my heart that there was so much more for me! So, one day I made a conscious decision and I said out loud “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”! It is time to fight for the Kellene that I knew was on the inside waiting for an invitation to show her greatness.

First, I acknowledged my struggles, and then I immediately made an appointment to see a therapist. I started journaling, reading stories of hope and triumph on the ADAA‘s website, praying, meditating, exercising and speaking life and love over myself every SINGLE day!

Because of my commitment to my healing, nowadays when I look in the mirror, I feel a different kind of love for myself that goes far beyond my outfit, my red lipstick and my mascara! I now see my will, determination, resilience, and that I’m a fighter, a survivor, a queen, a warrior, a healer, a leader and a person who stopped using circumstances as an excuse to stay stuck!

The more I started to heal the more and more I saw my potential and what I was capable of and due to my intentional fight,  hard work and my determination to be my greatest, I am proud to say that I am now the CEO of my own company, a Best Selling Author and a Survivor of Mental Illness!

This story is to simply show you that if I can beat anxiety and depression and all the other things that I have battled that tried to take me out, so can you!

No more excuses…no more waiting! It is time to give yourself that invitation to step into your greatness just like I did.

Now, I’m no therapist and nor do I claim to have all the answers but one thing that I do know is that whatever dream is in your heart, whatever goal you need to achieve, with a fight, determination and a solid non-judgmental support system….you too can triumph over anxiety and depression.

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Sharing my anxiety story really helped me and it may help you too. If you’re interested in sharing you story simply email me. There are others out there that you can help from having your story heard.

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