“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.’” ~ Maya Angelou
Any minute now they would find out.
I scanned the large conference room. The twenty-six project team members around the table discussed data analysis. Their voices were muffled by the thick fog of my anxiety.
My own throat tried to choke me, and my chest refused to expand. Sweat trickled down my side.
Breathe, just breathe. It’s going to be okay.
My eyes met my …
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“Calm yourself down. It’s okay. All is well.”
I clung to the sterile white table while the laboratory was spinning around me.
“It’s just an anxiety attack. It will be over soon.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, forcing my lungs to expand against the tightness in my chest. Cold sweat trickled down my spine as I battled the all-consuming feelings of overwhelm, panic, and disappointment.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” ~Amy Bloom
“Just look at yourself!”
“That chubby face, those massive hips and thighs. The stumpy legs.”
“No wonder he doesn’t love you anymore. No wonder he left you for her! She is so much prettier than you are.”
I stood in front of the mirror. Tears streamed down my face. My body was shaking uncontrollably as I stared at it in disgust.
Resentment and anger accumulated in my chest. Heavy, dark, and painful, the all-consuming emotions tried to crush me. My throat felt tight, I couldn’t breathe, my …
“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you don’t say ‘no’ to yourself.” ~Paolo Coehlo
My whole body was shaking. Tears streaming down my face, my nose blocked and throat sore from crying. Yet, no sound escaped my mouth except an occasional gentle sigh or hushed sob I was unable to control.
My husband was lying in bed next to me. I held my breath and lay motionless whenever he stirred in his sleep.
He had an early start ahead and needed rest. I didn’t want to disturb him, bother him with my silly crying fits. I didn’t want …
“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” ~Steven Pressfield
“We need to talk to you.”
I looked up from my book. The other thirteen girls in my class had assembled around me.
Part of me was annoyed that they interrupted Indiana Jones’s latest adventure. But another part couldn’t shake the feeling that I was facing the sixth grade execution squad. My heart began to beat faster, my shoulders tensed, and sickening fear spread through my body.
“We don’t like …
“Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.” – Isabel Allende
I was lying on the sofa in my tiny flat in Vienna.
My feet were elevated on a cushion and the room was spinning in a brisk waltz around me. My stomach was cramping and cold sweat was trickling down my spine. I gasped for air whenever choking fear forced my racing heart to skip a couple of beats.
The situation was all too familiar.
Back then I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety. I was also plagued …