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  • Jo Fleisher

My Anxiety Story....

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

Anxiety isn't fun....trust me I know.

I struggled with anxiety for many years. It kept me from going places and experiencing new things. My family tried to help me with their encouragement and support, but all I heard was that little voice in my head that said, "They don't understand how I feel", "I can't do that, something bad might happen." S0, as a result I hid in my bedroom and just existed.

I really wanted to make a change in my life, but I couldn't make myself do it, because, something bad might happen. This feeling of fear was so overpowering at times that it seemed like I would be destined to a life of isolation.

It wasn't until the time came that I was graduating from high school and I applied to post secondary institutions to continue my education.....and much to my surprise I got accepted to 2 of the colleges I had applied to. So, the decision was made that I would go to Humber College in Toronto and take the Practical Nursing program.

The next very challenging moment came when it was time to move away from home for the first time....well, needless to say my anxiety was "off the charts" but I did it....not a small victory for me. Despite being scared to death, homesick and extremely anxious....I stuck with it.

After I successfully completed the program, graduated and wrote the registration exam. It was time to get a job....oh my, another very anxious time for me. But, I told myself, "You have come this far, you can do this !" I think I only half believed that I could do it...but I applied to a few hospitals...and guess what, I GOT A JOB !

Okay, so I had a job, and now I had to prove to myself I could actually do this job, and for 26 years I did just that !

During that 26 years, I continued to struggle with anxiety almost on a daily basis. Doing my best to deal with the daily stresses of working on a very busy nursing unit and trying to keep my anxiety in check, it finally became too much for me and I took some time off from work to try to deal with my issues. I met with my family doctor and she suggested that counseling would help. I was very hesitant to admit that I needed help in dealing with my issues because I always believed that seeking help for emotional issues was a sign of weakness. After hours of soul searching and reflection I decided that I would reach out for help. This is the best decision I ever made.

There were times in my recovery that I thought about quitting but the alternative was not appealing to me. So, I stuck with it and after approximately a year of therapy I can say with all certainty that anxiety is still part of my life but not to the extent it once was. My anxiety and I have an "understanding"....it lets me know it's there, but I don't always listen to it.


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