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Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “I’m Free…But Not Falling”

why am i so anxious

It’s an incredibly tall order for many, but as long as we’re going to have a mood or anxiety disorder, we might as well make the best of it. Furthermore, why not let it make the best of us? Our guest writer knows generalized anxiety disorder extremely well. And she’s going to share her extraordinary perspective…

Being vulnerable is an act of courage all on its own. It’s also uncomfortable AF, but being uncomfortable is part of life. It helps you grow and change into the person you’re meant to be, and I find that part beautiful.

Truth: We’re not going to learn and grow if we don’t frequent places that facilitate learning and growth. So there I was snooping around in a Facebook group I belong to. And what do you know? One of the gang mentioned a blog post she’d written about her generalized anxiety disorder.

Ding, ding, ding! I had to know more. Found out that Carrah Faircloth produces the blog, Dear Divorcee. As Carrah puts it: Journey into one woman’s life after divorce and how it molded backbone and spunk.

Carrah’s most recent article is “Brain Stew,” in which she goes into great detail about how she blends her generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) into her life. Carrah gave me permission to bring you one of the article’s sections. She’s an extremely aware, clever, and fun writer, so I know you’re going to enjoy it. (BTW, I have GAD, too.)

Bring it, Carrah…

I’m Free…But Not Falling

Ironically, knowing emotional and mental anguish isn’t as devastating as other people think it is. Sure, it sucks when I’m in the net of depression or on the rollercoaster of runaway thoughts that send me headlong into cold-skinned, goosefleshy fear. I’d rather do without that part, but it comes with the territory.

Knowing internal turmoil lets me write things with authority. I can describe a feeling because I’ve had it, even if I’ve not endured the situation my character is in.

Living with GAD is a blessing in that I can be hyper-aware of details and dedicated to revising so that a particular work is publishable. Would I rather do without the worry that my piece isn’t perfect? Sure, but when I send my stuff out, I know it’s the best product I could write.

Living with GAD has led me to meditation, which helps so much with anxiety and depression. So. Much. Plus, with meditation (not to be confused with medication), I’m more capable of being patient with myself and give my panicked brain the grace it needs.

how to live with anxiety
Carrah Faircloth

GAD, though it has debilitating moments for sure, helps me more than anything not to give two-cents worth of a care of what other people think, and this attitude propels me to do what I think is best for me and outfits me to be able to stand on my own two feet.

I can take more creative risks, I can fail, and I can live my life fully without checking in with someone as to whether I’m doing it right. I’ve finally realized that keeping my head above the lies my brain tell is a greater challenge than what this woman thinks of me or whether or not my family approves of the latest decision I’ve made about my style.

And living with GAD (and living through a divorce) has allowed me to know when to say forget you and move on because I know what I do every single day. I’m well-versed in my struggle, and I mostly go through it alone.

Therefore, I know my strength because I live in vulnerability every moment. Being vulnerable is an act of courage all on its own. It’s also uncomfortable AF, but being uncomfortable is part of life. It helps you grow and change into the person you’re meant to be, and I find that part beautiful.

Living with GAD has forced me to accept myself, flaws and mental differences, and all, just as I am. This becomes especially important because so many people don’t accept this about me. Or they want to cure me, as if I live with a curse. Or as one friend put it, “a really bad storm.”

But I am not cursed nor am I a storm, especially to other people. Sure, my brain overtaxes itself until it feels like brain stew (or to use a Jack White reference, pancake batter), but that obsessive thinking leads to some kickass projects (I mean, I applied to TED, for crying out loud!).

This is my life – scary, imperfect, messy as hell – but on my terms.

We only get this journey once, so we should do what serves us, and “Chuck Norris” all the things that don’t. There is great power in the vulnerability you may face; it is not weakness, and it is not a point of shame. If there are people in your life who say differently, you may need to mentally drop kick them. Knock them the ____ out. Those who stick around, well, those are the ones on which you can lean.

Bill Closes

Shoot, what can I say? You’re sorely mistaken if you think I’m goofy enough to add anything else.

Well, okay, there’s just one thing. Thank you, Carrah, for showing us how to make the best of our mood or anxiety circumstances – and letting them make the best of us.

Be sure to head over to Dear Divorcee to read “Brain Stew” and Carrah’s other offerings.

And be sure to check-out the hundreds of Chipur mood and anxiety disorder-related titles.