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What an old friend it is to me.
Well, not really a friend, more like a foe.
A foe that walked next to me for a good 20 years before I finally realized just how stressed out I had been for my whole life.
Well, maybe I could call it a friend because over time I learned some really important lessons about myself and life that I may have not otherwise learned…
For as long as I can remember, I was always stressed. When I was a child I had a tendency to stress out about things that didn’t warrant stress. Both my mom and sister can tell you stories about this.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t realize just how much stress had run my life until a few months ago I was watching my old high school yearbook and guess what my class voted me our senior year:
I kid you not…That is what the text said on my senior year video yearbook. Which means that one of the most prominent memories that my classmates have of me is that I was always stressed out.
That makes my heart a little sad.
As I grew into adulthood, my stress didn’t go away. My anxiety grew increasingly worse year after year until a point around 2011 when my panic attacks got so bad that it was suggested I go on anti-anxiety medication.
I declined medication and knew I had to figure something else or there was a strong likelihood I would die an early, stress-induced death. I started focusing on nutrition, mindset, yoga, meditation, and prayer. And music. Music has always been therapeutic for me. That is one thing that I always enjoyed from a very young age.
None of these things fixed my anxiety issues overnight, but they sure helped move me out of a pattern of anxious darkness and into a world where I was able to better manage stressful situations when they arose (instead of crumpling in a heap on the floor).