Like Hannibal Lecter playing the puppet master of Clarice Starling’s life from inside his locked cell in impossible and invisible ways, so your anxiety lives in the shadows of your mind and pulls strings you don’t even know you have.
It’s the spectre of your mind, quietly, powerfully, stealthily driving your every thought, choice, and behaviour. It has even infected your identity.
Who you believe you are determines how you live your life. In other words, your life is a reflection of your chosen identity. There are certain fixed aspects of you: your biological sex, your age, your ethnicity or cultural affiliation are all good examples of this kind of trait. Everything else about you is up to you. This is not to say that choosing a new identity for yourself is a simple undertaking, but it is possible. With this in mind, consider that a person who suffers from, or struggles with, anxiety comes with a certain set of thoughts, choices, and actions, with their life reflecting the outcomes they produce. Think about it. You expect someone who identifies as a professional baseball player to act one way, an addict to act another, and a mother to fulfill yet another. The identity determines the lifestyle. It is precisely the same with anxiety.
Throughout my life, I have suffered from bouts of crippling depression, been the victim of dozens of anxiety attacks, and have had a head full of the thoughts, self-judgment, and lifestyle to go with them.
Yet, underneath it all was the foundation, the seed of my own identity for myself. I have never identified as a victim. I refused to be one, in any sense of the word, in any area of my life. Growing up with low vision, I learned early to advocate for what I needed. This empowered me from a young age to see myself as someone who was capable of doing whatever I put my mind to, provided that I chose to do so. Knowing that I was capable of living a successful, fulfilled life, and meet the big, scary goals I made a habit of setting for myself, laid the foundation for the journey that unfolded in the years to come.
Depression introduced itself to me in my teen years. Anxiety attacks came later. First, small ones in my twenties, and then later their bigger, more severe cousins in my thirties. I also struggled with postpartum depression (PPD) following the birth of my first child.
This all led me to do the work that now forms much of this book.
Along this journey, I discovered a set of keys that allowed me to unlock the cage my anxiety lived in, bring it out into the light and discover that it was not a sociopathic monster after all. Fear now walks beside me, befriended and declawed, and has become an important part of my operating system, my internal team, and an ally.
The keys I found are what I will share with you in this book.
There are so many people that, like me, have struggled with the daily invasion of anxiety in their lives. It can be debilitating and life-changing. Except that’s now how it was designed, or evolved if you prefer.
I am so excited to share this book with you. It’s my story, and what I learned along the way about how my brain is wired, and how to change that wiring.
It’s available on Amazon in print and for Kindle. And it’s super low priced.
Give it a read, and please, share with me what you think, and how I can help.
Review it, share it, and help me get this book into the hands of those who need it.
In the coming weeks, I will share more with you about how this book came to be, what I have learned writing it, and how it seriously took on a life of its own.
Stay tuned ❤