Dealing with anxiety can be an isolating experience. For many years, I felt as though my anxious reaction to the world was not appropriate, and that I was alone in experiencing this on a daily basis. Planning, traveling, going to work, riding the train, all were extremely draining on mental and physical levels as my mind worried over the same tired scenarios again and again. Sometimes it seems there is no hope for an end to the constant cycle of worry, anger, and unhappiness.
Just knowing that other people feel the same way is incredibly helpful. Buddhists speak of Samsara, the “sea of human suffering” in which we are all adrift. Exchanging ideas and experiences in a group of similarly minded people really brought the concept home to me. Anxiety is NOT unique to me, or to any of us. It is a state of mind that can be applied to any situation in life, big or small. That vast ocean of worry and pain can wash over unexamined, numbing the mind to other valuable feelings. In the anxiety group I met other women my age, lovely, confident, successful, seemingly composed, but all suffering in this same state. Seeing my peers work on overcoming their anxiety made it much easier to deal with my own, and also made me more confident in myself. Sometimes I gave advice, sometimes I received it, and other times I was content just to listen and learn.
The most valuable part of it all was just to realize the isolation I had felt for such a long time was an illusion– Many, many people suffer from chronic anxiety. Sharing with just a few of them completely changed my outlook.
Thank you for sharing and for participating in this wonderful group!
Next 8 week anxiety group begins in September!