My feet are firmer on the ground than previous times in my life. My heart does not trip over itself while scrambling to get away from a new person quite as often. My smile usually feels real instead of plastered onto my face.
Yet, there are still moments when the shaking starts. When my head begins to whirl and my breath comes in rapid puffs. When I feel like if I see another person or anyone touches me, I will break down in tears.
What causes anxiety? There are triggers, certainly, but what makes them triggers?
Some of my triggers are obvious. For example, red equals blood and touching equals panic. Simple enough, right?
Yet, red also is the color I think of when I want to feel beautiful in a new dress. A hug or hand on the shoulder from a friend can give me reassurance at a hard time. These “triggers” make my shaking stop instead of stop.
Likewise, there are methods I use to calm myself. Deep breathing and long walks are two of the coping skills I use most frequently. Even these can be turned into triggers though. Breathing can become hyperventilating while walks can give my mind time to worry about everything that could go wrong.
Overall, I have learned that I simply need to endure the shaking and anxiety. Maybe I need to step outside for a minute or drink a glass of water. In the end, however, I will be fine.
The shaking feels like it will shatter me to pieces. It will not. I will be able to smile and laugh a few moments later. I simply need time to acknowledge my anxiety and panic before using coping skills to calm down.
Is it scary to live like this? Yes. Is it possible to live like this? Yes. I can do it. I just need to keep reminding myself that I can do it.