Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Until my mid twenties I was quite laid back person. Even though I had depressive episodes due to my teenage worries and family issues, people would say that I was very sociable, friendly and positive. I was always among popular kids. When I was 18 year old, I went to study Classical Art into other town. I enjoyed very much my independent life, far away from pressure and bullying that I have experienced at home. I grew up in atmosphere where just efficiency and success were counted and where I was never good enough. Naturally I chose art, as contrary to all engineers in my family :-) My mind was always inclined to aesthetic, philosophy, religion and psychology.
Why my student years are so important? Because that is when dark started creeping in. I don't know the right reason. 1. Maybe because painting is quite lonely experience, where you spend a lot of time with yourself. A lot of self - analysis and constant self discovery. Not that fun when you are twenty. Then high expectations from environment and professors. You are an artist, chosen one. You have to change the world with your art. 2. Maybe because I was separated from family and friends, and my boyfriend at that time. 3. Maybe because I was experimenting with my identity a lot 4. Maybe because I had belief that if you want to be an artist, you need to suffer 5. Maybe I was not equipped with enough self-love, self-respect and self-trust (something we bring from home) 6. Maybe all together But those are the years when I was introduced to darkness in life. I was losing weight following some macrobiotic diet. I was never skinnier and with a short hair. Then next year I would gain a lot and feel miserable. I started having bulimic episodes. My body was not working. My period stopped and I spent quite a bit of time at doctors and hospitals. I hated my body. Those are the first moments where I felt helpless, I felt ashamed, like my body is betraying me, like I don't have control, like nobody can understand what I am passing through...I felt so isolated. All those feelings are common with my anxiety disorder that started 4 years later. So my conclusion from this long distance (20 years later): Anxiety is not coming from anywhere, as it may seem at first.
1. It is triggered with certain amount of stress that we handled for a long time with or without noticing it 2. It is connected with sensitivity and intelligence (the more we know and feel, more likely we will get anxious) 3. It is deriving from our beliefs and learned patterns. "Mind that worry" - is more fragile and prone to slide into anxiety pool.
4. It is connected to our identity and low self esteem - if our identity in this world is strong we will be less anxious
6. It is expression of suppressed feelings - if we were hiding or suppressing feelings for a long time they may come out in form of anxiety attack 7. It is really close friend to procrastination - making excuses for doing things in life This is just like a basic map with anxiety cracks. I like to keep it written as it helps me understand my companion better :-)