I have some great news! On Sunday, I made some more progress with getting through my anxiety!
When I go to church, I usually sit in the back against the wall. I’ve gotten used to sitting there and I do extremely well. This last Sunday, however, someone was sitting where I usually sit, meaning that I had to sit somewhere else. While I was nervous at this idea, I felt confident that I would be okay. Still, during the service, I became a bit anxious.
It wasn’t easy sitting in a new spot. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but sitting against the wall where I know I can lean my head if I have to (I haven’t had to in a long time, but just knowing I can is a huge help), was nerve-racking. As many of you who deal with anxiety probably know, when anxiety hits, it can feel as if you’re trapped and while sitting in a different spot, that’s how I started to feel at one point.
When I started focusing on how I was sitting somewhere different, that’s when my anxiety hit. You might be thinking that I should have just stopped thinking about it right away, but that can be way easier said than done. My mind was focused on it and then I started thinking about how there was nowhere to rest my head if I needed to. Panic began to settle in.
However, I got through it. It wasn’t easy, but I did. I started focusing on other things – on my grandparents (who have both passed away, but used to be at church with my mom and I when I was younger), on the necklace I was wearing around my neck that reminded me of my grandpa, on what was being said in church, and on my hair which I was twirling nervously, but that helped me relax. Eventually, I calmed down and I got through mass! It wasn’t easy, but I did it!
While to some, this may not seem like a big accomplishment, I know otherwise. Ever since I’ve started going back to church, I’ve been sitting in the back (other then one time when I sat in the front when my grandpa died – another sign of progress), but this time was different. I did something that I’m not used to – even though I was anxious – and I got through it. Taking small steps towards reaching one’s goal does matter and being able to stay the whole time during mass while being anxious is a big deal!
It felt great that I got through my anxiety on my own. Yes, my mom was sitting right next to me, but I never told her I needed to leave or anything like that. There would have been nothing wrong with that if I did, but I didn’t. I got through it on my own and that hasn’t always been easy for me in the past. Counting on myself to calm down has always been difficult – I tend to obsess on my anxiety, which leads to me feeling the need to leave wherever I am. Even now as I write this, I feel slightly stressed. It’s a scary thing feeling anxious and not knowing if you can get through it. But again, I did and it felt amazing!
To all of you out there who struggle, with hard work on a consistent basis, you can and will get through your anxiety and over any obstacles that come your way. It just takes time, patience, and a lot of effort. Try your hardest to have confidence in yourself – you deserve it!