About that anxiety

Feeling fearful, sad, and lost? Our elder says, “You’re not alone.”

These are trying times, but by helping others, you might just help yourself.

Dear EWC:

I’m 20 years old and I feel trapped. Trapped in a sense where I feel like there’s nowhere to go and there’s no future for me. I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world. I feel everything weighing and dragging me down. I feel so lost in this small world I’m trapped in. Ironic. How can you feel lost in a place so small?

There’s so much pain and anger and sadness that I bottle up inside me and now I have these random waves of sadness washing over me. I’ve always shown that I’m strong and unbreakable. I never show other people that I’m weak but right now I am so weak and I still can’t show it. My family is breaking apart and even at times when everything seems fine, I start to get anxious. I can’t help but recall the times they would scream and fight. How do I resolve this trauma? I feel so drained and nobody seems to understand.

There’s so much more I wanna say but it’s all so chaotic here in my mind. So many fears and anxiety.

Good Listener replies:

I’m sorry for the unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings you’re having, but you’re not alone. Not to in any way dismiss what’s going on with you, but these are unprecedented times in the world, and people who are as balanced and secure as anyone are, let’s say, “off their rockers” with anxiety and doubt now. Things will work out for you, but it’s hard to see that now when everything seems so overwhelming. The question at hand is how to attack these fears?

For one, if there’s any way you can get some counseling or therapy (online or in person) that might be a huge help. It doesn’t have to be forever, but to speak to someone who is trained to guide you through this, might be helpful. I’m not a therapist, nor can anyone at Elder Wisdom Circle diagnose you, so I’m merely making suggestions.

So, therapy is the best suggestion. In the shorter run, I’d do anything and everything healthy to distract yourself, including being kind to yourself! This may sound pedantic, but if exercise or just taking a walk helps, do it. If listening to music or being creative in an artistic manner helps, do that. If you have more academic interests, read or so some research on something that interests you. What also may help is finding some way to volunteer your time to a cause you believe in. So many people are hurting, that it may feel good to put yourself out there a little to make a difference.

You’re not weak, you just feel weak. There’s a big difference (as it was explained to me once when I was in the middle of a major crisis). As I said, you’ll get out of this…maybe with some therapy or maybe with a major push to get involved and distracted by all sorts of things that make you feel better. Each day and one day at a time if need be. Take heart, better times are ahead! It’s a matter of holding on while you weather the storm and right the ship. Good luck.


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