I learned long ago how to hide my inner anxiety. So much so that I became of one of those 'strong women' with an 'arty flair'... a nice way of saying a little eccentric. I'm ok with the eccentric bit... my inner self tries to channel Auntie Mame! I was also ok with the strong bit until 'being strong' over took me and didn't allow me to fully acknowledge dangers of holding everything in.
Here's the other thing about hiding... when someone asks "what do you have to be anxious about? You don't have kids/not physically ill/have a good job"... yada yada yada... so not helpful. Judging as to what level one can be considered incapacitated based on personal perception is very destructive and heaven forbid you look fine. We do a huge dis-service to people with mental health issues by judging them on what we see on the surface or telling them that they shouldn't feel that way because others have it far worse. I'm guilty of that... face it, we all are. Being on the receiving end of the raised eyebrow and judgement because I should have no real reason for having anxiety/panic attacks made me a tad angry and well, frankly... a little ashamed of my past behaviours. I did the very same thing and I'm not proud of that. I prided myself on being open and accepting... huh... I wasn't and being on the receiving end of such judgement was humbling.
Yes, I am a strong person and love where my strength has taken me in life and it will be that strength to help carry me through this. It is that strength that will help me be more gentle with others. It will be that strength to help me find, use, create whatever it is I need to help un-lock what has hurt and held me back.
It's interesting that the Sock Madness (you know, that crazy speed knitting competition) qualifying pattern is based on a Harry Potter spell "Alohomora"... to unlock doors/windows. Knitting and a really good latte has become my personal Alohomora spell for un-locking my locked up brain cells and releasing the anxiety. This pattern... one stitch atta time, one door/window unlocked atta time... has brought me another step closer to myself.
Yes... I will soon be as fine as I look... but until then I'm off to the local coffee shop for another latte and a wee bit o' knittin...