This post is different to others I have done. I want to focus on mental health and one of my experiences. My descriptions might be a bit graphic, sorry. I’m hoping by sharing this it may help someone or help others understand those who suffer from anxiety. I live with with an anxiety disorder, I have it, it’s part of me and I accept it as much as I can. I hate saying that I “suffer” from an anxiety disorder because I hate when it wins. I hate being a victim of it. Living with anxiety is like living with a demon inside you, it may not be always present, but you know it’s there.

With therapy I’ve identified my anxiety disorder mainly stems from my past. I was raised in a less than ideal environment and outside of home for much of my adolescence I was a willing participant and victim of an extremely violent environment. My anxiety manifests from numerous situations; change, the way someone looks at me, touches me, speaks to me, unfamiliar group settings, strange environments, nightmares… The list is endless.

The most annoying thing is anxiety is out of my control. If I could rip or cut it out of me I would. It is a constant tormentor. I want you to imagine doing a normal everyday activity and suddenly you are dropped into a concrete room against your will, it is dark and cold with no way to get out, you are closed off from all rational thought. Your mind is now held captive for the assault. Locked in that room there is a shadow, it has no identity but you know what it is. It is constantly yelling at you, making you doubt yourself, making you doubt the choices you’re making, making it seem that everything is against you and you will fail, you fail at everything, telling you you’re stupid, you’re nothing, insignificant… It beats you into submission. It robs you of self esteem and your own personal sovereignty. It is the ultimate abuser and thief. Medication has never really worked for me. Currently I’ve found the gym and exercise along with therapy and diet control help. The gym is the light in that room, it allows me to stand up and start fighting back against that metaphorical shadow.

My workouts are normally around 2 hours long. I can go from an hour training session into a bootcamp class and still keep going. It’s not that I think it will make me lose weight quicker, it’s because I’m beating the shit out that shadow figure. Keeping it at bay and trying my best to win the internal struggle against it. At the end of the workout the anxiety mostly gone I know I’ve won for that day. Tomorrow will always be another battle, but I won’t “suffer” from it. I will never give that fucking thing the satisfaction.