I’ve decided recently to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Shane Hubbard who talks about his journey with anxiety and his philosophy on how to help with his demons. Please check out his blog by clicking here for more.
“You have been like this since you were a baby. You are so anxious and worried; things I didn’t realize a child could feel that young.” Those were the words of my father one day when he finally sat me down and asked if I was okay.
Hi, I’m Shane. I’ve always been an interesting guy. Much of my life I have had anxiety, depression, and just about any other subcategory of those you might be able to imagine. That being said, I had an amazing childhood. I have two loving parents, and two brothers. My father was strict but not the way you might think. He got stressed really easily, but he was still very loving, goofy, and fun. Later in my life I learned about my father’s upbringing, and learned that from a very early age, he had to protect not only himself, but also his mother from an abusive step -father. Knowing this only gave me more empathy for my father, and left me understanding a bit about where my own emotion issues may have come from.
When my father really sat me down and asked me if everything was okay, I really didn’t know how else to explain it to him other than, “I’m afraid to fail in any capacity, be it falling short of societies quota (like the way I dress, or act) to attempting the simplest task and “not getting it right the first time.” I take everything personally. I would rather not attempt or try anything and protect myself than to go out in the world, fail, and learn. It hurt too much, like an emotional assassination. I knew I had been like this since my birth because I cannot remember a time not feeling this way. I felt that it was just part of being a kid, and that I would grow out of it one day. But as I grew older and every day got harder and harder, I knew something was wrong. The more stressed I got, the more ways I had to find methods of coping with the stress. I had to find ways to be in control of my life, because I couldn’t be in control of my fear, so it seemed as a child, and that made me feel insecure. During this time, it is thought that I developed OCD. In my college years, I had several more traumatic episodes that I feel can be addressed in private for those who may be interested, but for the time being, I would like to leave those untouched by public eyes.
My Philosophy Over the Years
I didn’t want this post to focus on my own issues too much, just enough to give some background to my past. Instead, I want to provide support, understanding, motivation, and a philosophy I have come by over the years in regard to anxiety and depression.
In my journey to overcome my depression and anxiety, I have gathered many mentors, and I have learned a lot. What I am about to share is some of the most important take-aways I have gathered from them while on my journey.
Dissolving of Ego
This might be by far one of the hardest exercises I have ever done. It is essentially trying to become ethereal; letting things come and go and not giving any one action too much attention. Some people call it Zen. Either way, through trying to practice this, I have learned a very important thing: Anxiety lives in the past as it relates to the future, but it does not live in the present. So this is to say that a past experience has you worried that it will happen again (future). Paying attention to this is what causes anxiety. Leaving it alone, that is to say not thinking about it and letting it happen when it happens, is an excellent road map to follow in times of anxiety. If you choose to practice this, do not get discouraged if it doesn’t help the first, second, or even third time. I have by no means conquered this myself, but being mindful has shifted my thinking and expanded my consciousness, and it will for you too.
Keep Moving Forward
Although an easy idea to conceptualize, not giving up can be hard. Now, some things need not be pursued to the end if you do not desire the results. But for your dreams, always keep moving toward your dreams. Every dream has road blocks. There isn’t a soul who pursued his or her dreams without struggle. If you really love something, and I know everyone does, keep moving forward when things get tough. Find a support system you can communicate with, even if only to distract you from the hard times. Learn from your feelings and embrace the knowledge of your gut. When your heart speaks, listen, it is on your team.
Embrace the Little Things
If you are like me, the most important things in life get lost in the business of work and daily tasks. This is a reminder to you, as well as me, that when we are stressed, anxious, or depressed, to look at our life through a much bigger scope. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we get caught up in the micromanaged part of life. We forget to love, laugh, and enjoy the little things. Spend a little time each day remembering this. Make time to show someone you love them, have lunch with a friend, call up your parents and have a chat. Remember to keep in touch with what really matters in times of stress, anxiety, and depression. I promise it will help in your battle.
You are Important
I am so entirely enthralled by people’s stories. There hasn’t been a life story I have heard from either a friend, a mentor, or even a co-worker that I didn’t find interesting. We each have interesting lives, even if they might seem boring to us. Each one of us has lived a life no one else will live. No one else can be us. Isn’t that crazy?! In your times of anxiety, depression, or just a plain old bad day, remember that someone cares about you, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. Your story is important, so live it, share it, and embody it to its full potential.
In the closing of this post, I would like to thank Lauren for giving me this opportunity to share. I believe guest posts are a very powerful way to build a community and bring like people together. I would also like to thank those who have done other guest posts, as well as all the readers for taking time out of your day to read this. Everyone’s time is valuable, and not all of us have much of it with work, school, and the like. So, in closing, I would like to thank you for your time and contributions to sharing your own unique story.