Like most people I spent my early years worrying about what other people thought. I was always changing myself to fit in wherever I went. I also didn’t like conflict (I still don’t) and was always playing the peacemaker.
I don’t know when it started to dawn on me that everyone didn’t have to like me or agree with me. I didn’t have to work so hard to be everything to everyone. It is exhausting.
I am an only child and when I was young I was more comfortable with adults than people my own age. I think that is one of the things that made me try so hard to fit in. I had very little self confidence around my peers. It wasn’t until I went to college that I started to feel comfortable. I am sure that this did not help my anxiety.
In my teen years my mother was extremely ill and for years there was no diagnosis. Even though I was unaware at the time it fueled my worries about illness.
Now, at my age, I have gained some perspective on how I reflected my environment and didn’t cope well with anxiety and depression. Over the years, a little at a time, I have grown coping skills that make my life so much better. It is a good thing that I did as aging brings so pretty serious issues to cope with.
Some serious episodes with IBSD triggered my panic. Fortunately those were mostly few and far between. I am so grateful that treatment for these issues has progressed so far. When I was young anyone who had panic was said to have had a nervous breakdown. Thank God there is better understanding today. I am hoping that this progress continues until research into how our whole selves work finds answers that remove the stigma from those of us who suffer.
As each person writes about these issues and shares the things that help them our knowledge grows. The community is a blessing.