We all have had anxiety at a point in our lives like when we have to give a speech or talk our bosses about a situation. Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to overtake your life and makes you sick or have panic attacks. It’s when your fears become so overpowering that your body begins to react with an attack that makes you ill. The question you must ask yourself is, “What causes my anxiety?” What is the source of my internal fears and worries?

   Anxiety comes from your fears and worries being magnified. They are relentless. They can come from your job, stresses in your personal life, finances, illnesses, and so on. These are the things that bring on dizziness, sweats, uneasiness, nausea, panic attacks, shortness of breath, and so on.

   During my time off after surgery, I realized I have not had any anxiety attacks. I started looking at my daily rituals before my surgery to see if I could point out what could be the source of my anxiety. On a normal day, I work usually a six hour shift on my feet as a cashier. Half way through my shift, my feet, back, and shoulders start hurting. After work, we decide what to do for supper, and I do the checkbook and rest.

   During my time off, I slept in, I watched lots of TV, I colored in adult coloring books, and I worked on my writing. The pain from my surgery was managed by medication. Church ladies brought me lunch while Lou worked. I still had to keep track of the checkbook, but I didn’t have to go to work and deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family brought us food so I didn’t have to worry about dinner.


   These past two weeks I have done nothing but relax. I haven’t worried about endless lines of customers, aches and pains, and not making mistakes at work. I did the checkbook, but with people bringing us food, we seemed to save money.

   I realized work and finances cause a lot of my anxiety. When I work, I worry obsessively about doing my job right, whether or not I will be able to make it through with the aches and pains, and if I’ll be able to walk out of the store at the end of my shift. Then I’m usually too tired to cook and it becomes too easy to eat out. I begin to worry about my hours and if I’ll make enough to pay bills. Will we go broke? Will we make enough money to get through the week?

   Now that I know the source of my anxiety, how do I handle it when I go back to work? Time off from work has given me a chance to think out a strategy. I’m going to try to list the positive things about my job. I’m going to focus on doing my job to the best of my ability and not think about the aches and pains. I will remind myself not to worry about the bills and other finances. We will be fine. When I start to worry about money, I will take time to sit and relax. I will do things that distract me like coloring and writing.


   Figure out what the source of your anxiety is and create a plan to deal with those fears and worries. Talk to your therapist about it and use relaxation techniques. Fighting your anxiety is not easy and will take time, but don’t give up.

   I will continue to find ways to ease my anxiety and learn to control it. Because I am willing to fight my fears, I will continue to bathe in the light.

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