Hi, my name is Sasha and I have anxiety. It’s hard for me to remember a time when I wasn’t anxious. I know when it started to get bad, like really bad. But I don’t know what it was that set me off into the dark abyss that is anxiety.
I was always a nervous child. I remember I never wanted to be alone I followed my parents and my grandparents around the house constantly. Just the thought of being alone in a room as a child scared the living s*** out of me. My grandmother called me her “Shadow” and that nickname stuck all throughout my childhood and adulthood.
Out Of Physical Harm
I’m by no means anything close to a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure my OCD is deeply rooted in my anxiety. I always think how funny it is when people have this perception of OCD. The common misconception is that I obsessively brush my teeth every day or that my kitchen is meticulously organized. Unfortunately, my reality of OCD was nervously picking at the dead skin on my big toes until they bled, or tearing out my hair until a bald spot magically appeared on the back of my head near my neck. I’m sorry if that’s graphic or too real, but that can be what 0CD is sometimes, really graphic and too real.
The previously mentioned traits of OCD in the last paragraph I’ve actually since overcame, but between the ages of 4 and 18 these two instances of self-mutilation were pretty much an everyday occurrence.
Fortunately, I’ve moved on to a more psychological form of OCD in my late twenties. I own a house now so my priorities have changed. Now instead of picking at my toe skin, I have to touch the front door handle 9 times before I’m able to leave the house. Instead of tearing out my hair I obsessively check the stove before I leave in fear of a fire bursting randomly from the oven while I’m not home.
Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
For a long time, I used to lie to myself and justify the reason for my anxiety and OCD. I had convinced myself that I was just overly cautious. I didn’t have a disorder! Everything all came to a head when my boyfriend showed me a video taken from our front door security camera of me trying to leave the house and touching the front door handle about 28 times at about 5:30 in the morning while I was trying to go to work.
Are You Happy?
I knew something had to be done. I knew I didn’t want to live in fear for the rest of my life. Nobody wants to feel anxious all the time, or ever for that matter, it’s not a fun thing. Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are real and they suck. So I started looking into activities that could help me calm down. A lot of people would say, “First off lady, you need to start smoking some weed!” Which I would totally be down for. . . If I didn’t absolutely despise the smell of weed. So that was out.
Yoga With Adriene
Luckily, I found Adriene on Youtube and she taught me the ways of yoga. And not just yoga but breathing practices and ways to relax. Yoga has done wondrous things for my anxiety and OCD. I don’t know if it will ever truly be gone, but at least now I have a coping mechanism. If I freak out I know that if I breathe 10 times deeply I’ll be okay. And I’m not saying that yoga is the end-all-be-all for anxiety. What I am saying is find something that you can escape into. Read a book, paint a picture, clean the house, well maybe that’s not such a great idea… Just look for your Escape. it will do wonders for your mind and soul.