This post is about how I managed to beat generalized anxiety, trauma, severe panic attacks and depression. Also how I healed from many years of physical and mental abuse. Hopefully this can give others a different perspective and move on as well.
I had extremely abusive parents growing up; physically and mentally. My mom was very manipulative and despised me to my core because I was born with an undoubtful resemblance to my dad. My dad would always argue with my mom and she would use me as her punching bag, she always redirected all her anger towards me. And when my dad would get home he would beat me as well. Mom tried to suffocate me when I was 5 years old. I told my dad and he called the cops, I lied to the cops and told them my mom didn’t do that and that my dad lied. My mom hated me after that point and convinced my brothers to do the same. Was forced to live with my mom’s resentment until I was 18 years old. This was my every day life until I was 18 years old and the occasional fist fights and arguments with my manipulated brothers. I was a pathological liar in high school. I had a ton of friends growing up but always felt overwhelmingly lonely. Deep down I loved my family so I never spoke out against them because I had no trust against anyone anymore, my family was happy with each other and I didn’t have the heart to break it apart. I spent so many years feeling sorry for myself and having pity parties with everyone I met online. I had no aspirations and no motivation for anything. I spent 3 years not understanding what was happening to me. I dug into my traumatic past because I realized I had forgotten most of it. Tried forgiving my family and attempted to love them again but my older brother was still very resentful towards me and one day during an argument with my mom he beat me with a rock and attempted to stab me multiple times with a kitchen knife. After that point my whole world shattered. I was homeless for a while and began to have panic attacks. I had severe panic attacks every 5 minutes of every day for the next 6-8 months. Hospital trips, 100+ attacks a day, silent panic attacks.
Understanding my anxiety: Anxiety was formed by recurring negative thoughts. Thinking about the worst possible outcomes from any situation. Excessive worry. Feeling afraid. I realized I needed to be more confident in life. If I worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet, I just suffer through a situation that hasn’t even happened and might not even happen. Learning to be aware of when you are entering a negative thought cycle and being able to pull yourself out of it. Meditation has helped with being able to focus and being more aware of when I enter thought loops and allows me to quiet my mind at any given moment. It is much easier to enter thought cycles when you are on autopilot because you function on habits. Try do new things to stop from entering autopilot. Try to become aware when you are in autopilot and pull yourself out.
Here’s how I was able to turn my life around: (The chronological order doesn’t matter but hopefully you can take away some information that would help you overcome what you’re going through)
I had to put myself before anything and anyone else. I am my #1 priority. I knew if I were to beat anxiety, I had to lay everything out on the table and stop lying to myself. I knew I was negative. I knew I was lazy. I felt like a failure. Used depression, anxiety and my past as an excuse to get away with doing nothing with my life. I knew I was doing everything wrong so I had to do the opposite of the things I named because they were getting in the way of my happiness.
(1) I had a bad habit of bottling up all my emotions:
I knew I had to open up to people and normalize opening up to everyone. I knew if I opened up to one specific person I would grow attached and they would eventually break my heart and make me not want to open up again. So whenever someone was willing to listen I would share my story.
2) Learning how to find myself:
I used to be a pathological liar because I didn’t know who I was so I could never add anything genuine to any conversation and lying about stuff was easy. So I brought it back to the best memory I had of myself, when I was 5 years old when I was a pure and happy soul, before I was tainted by any negativity. I knew this was the most genuine/happy memory of myself. I loved my family more than anything and loved helping people that I loved. So I worked extremely hard to try to get to that point. (Still trying)
3) I struggled with being able to love anything or anyone:
I knew if I were to leave my family I would never be happy again. If I wanted to be happy I knew I had to learn how to forgive them.
I knew I had to forgive them in order to love them:
(forgiveness only benefits you. holding resentment or hatred towards people is only a burden towards you.) In order to forgive them, I needed to deeply understand why they did what they did. This doesn't mean that they didn't do anything wrong by me. This just helps to make it feel much less personal. I realized that my parents were raised in a very violent environment and their parents were just as violent towards them. They also didn't have the privilege of having an education (both pulled out of school at the 5th grade). From there I knew that they were just a product of their environment. I knew that if my parents were born in a loving and compassionate environment, they would have been loving towards me. I realized they just weren't educated enough to be in control of their emotions because they were surrounded by impulsive and uneducated people all their lives. My parents still fed me and somewhat cared for me in their own destructive manner. This allowed me to shift the blame away from my parents. (Being a product of their environment can be used in your everyday life to understand why people are insensitive and bad people and make things feel less personal) I don't take anything personal anymore because of this.
-I also knew that if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have had an education. I would never have been able to recognize that they did wrong by me. Recognizing other people's faults was a privilege that they didn't have. They were living in a world where violence and mental abuse was normal.
-I slowly began to be appreciative and grateful of all the tiny things they did for me, after being able to ignore their faults. I realized that I slowly began loving them again through that appreciation. I believe that appreciation is the gateway to love.
4) Finding my purpose:
I knew I loved a challenge. I knew I was good at math. I knew I loved helping people. Space is exciting to me. I always had really great ideas for inventions. Love to speak in front of crowds. So I knew I had to do something challenging, involving math, space and inventions. I chose to study aerospace engineering because its the most difficult career path and would give me the knowledge to be able bring my ideas to life. And eventually become a motivational speaker after becoming successful to inspire kids who are going through a similar experience.
5) Retaining and finding motivation:
Everyone needs some support pillars. We all need people and things we can rely on whenever we are going through bad times and that’s what support pillars are for. My support pillars became my family and myself. I used every single situation that happened to me as a source of motivation. I figured that I was still on this earth for a reason after going through so much. I will not stop trying until I figure out what that reason is. I know my parents sacrificed a lot for me despite their ignorance and destructive behavior. So I will make my own sacrifices and do all I possibly can to do right by their efforts.
Hope this serves as some inspiration or gives you some knowledge that can help improve your life :). Thanks for reading!
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