Someone once told me once that anxiety and depression are cousins and if you get one you often experience both. I've had the symptoms of anxiety as long as I remember being alive. I have periods in my life without it, but anxiety always seems to be waiting for its turn to hop on my back and climb in my chest coming in waves and staying for seasons.

There is hope in knowing you are not alone in something, and I found years ago that if I am walking through any problem in life someone has also already walked it. I also noticed sometimes if some people try to encourage me out of my anxiety it often just makes it worse.

For some reason, these words in the above video from a 5-year-old seemed to have broken some of the anxiety spells. It taught me about my anxiety and has brought me many victories on the anxiety battlefield.

I'm not undefeated in the anxiety attacks, but with some help of some people and programs, I'm also not completely defeated anymore either. I have attended classes, read books, Googled like a madman, and tried different programs over the years. Some of these experiences left me frustrated and filled with less hope than when I started hunting. There were other resources, and people who changed the game, and my life in the process.

At times it feels like anxiety comes from out of nowhere, and blindsides us.

When you have anxiety you also learn certain environments, people, and experiences can trigger the anxiety. In one of the programs they had us track our triggers, the people, places, and all sorts of things that can induce and amplify anxiety. It wasn't until this program did I learn that even different weather seasons, food, and drinks can also set off my anxiety.

This list of anxiety inducers has been very valuable to me over the years in my recovery. There are still new unexpected things I have to continue to add to my list. I had no idea grief, and loss are anxiety triggers but am now well aware of this experience.

As I try and trudge my way through the fresh wound of grief, and loss I feel anxiety lurking around the corners.

I read this quote from C.S. Lewis's book A Grief Observed:

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep swallowing.”

Whatever it is you wrestle with whether it's anxiety, depression, addiction, or something else there are those of us just like you cheering you on in your journey.

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