The Importance of Learning to Be Patient With Myself With Anxiety

Ever go into a therapy session feeling on top of the world, like the sun is smiling down on you and you’re thinking, “life is pretty darn great,” only to come out of it feeling on the brink of a panic attack because some drudged-up memory just triggered the anxiety monster in your brain?

My anxiety comes in phases. Sometimes the phases last from a couple of days, to months at a time. Some phases are more severe than others, ranging from nervous jitters waiting in line somewhere, to can’t even leave the house to go to the grocery store.

I’ve been in a good phase the last couple of months and I chalked it up to regularly working with a therapist, completing my dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) workbooks, meditating and practicing mindfulness.

But then as I was in therapy, something triggered the darkness hiding deep in my brain, and I realized it would never go away. This thing will always be lying dormant there, even when I’m feeling “normal” and like my best self.

I am an extremely impatient person… just ask my husband when we order pizza and I ask him to check what time he called over and over, waiting for the delivery man to arrive. I wasn’t expecting a quick fix for my anxiety disorder. I guess I had hoped it might go away with time and I could remember it like, “Hey remember that 28-year phase I struggled with anxiety? Man, that was tough. Glad that’s over!”

I’m learning to be patient with myself and I’ll always have to practice my mindfulness and other techniques that help. I’ve realized I need to exercise my brain and my emotional health just as much as physical health.

For me it’s been 20 years of living with generalized panic disorder, and only two years of actually learning behaviors that will help me to develop techniques to be able to live with it and get through the bad phases. You need to be kind and patient to yourself, because it will always be a learning process.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by littlehenrabi

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

Vintage Girl Portrait in Ornate Circle Frame. Vector Illustration. Art Nouveau Style. Hand Drawn Hairstyle. Beautiful Mermaid Face.

Anxiety Makes It Hard to Know if I'll Be an 'Introvert' or 'Extrovert' Today

Sometimes I struggle to make sense of the love of being alone but also the fear of being alone. To an introvert, being alone can be a favorite pastime and to an extrovert, they can often want nothing more than to be around people. But what if I don’t fit in these categories? What if I [...]
A couple about to kiss

How to Love Someone With 'High-Functioning' Anxiety

This piece was written by Lauren Jarvis-Gibson, a Thought Catalog contributor. When someone has “high-functioning” anxiety, they’re probably skilled at hiding it. I know I’m a master at concealing and covering up my anxiety, but it does come out of hiding when trying to be “OK” becomes too difficult. That’s when I need you to be there for [...]
Young couple in love outdoor at a lake

To the Person I'm Dating: Let Me Introduce You to My Depression and Anxiety

Hi there, If you’re reading this, it means I like you. We’ve probably been on a few dates during which I questioned you about your hopes and dreams and your views on cats. You patiently listened to my awkward ramblings and may have even found it adorable. I enjoy spending time with you and would [...]
woman Silhouette

When a Coworker Helped Me Get Through Another Day of Anxiety

It was one of those days. A day where my anxiety reigned and shrouded me with its dark veil. This thing called anxiety and panic had barreled into my life over the past year and I was still waiting for rescue. I barely made it through each day as a wife, mom of two, and [...]