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The Safe Haven: Where Social Anxiety Cannot Reach Us

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Away from the civilized society, away from the sounds of the bustling city streets, and cars honking continuously, away from the mass crowds of human souls; this is where those like us with anxiety retreat. We retreat into our own habitat, into our homes, locked away, or out into nature where no one can reach us, and where all of our anxieties have disappeared for the time being. It is something that we have been known to do.

It is hard to determine what actually causes anxiety because for each person it is different. It can be caused by traumatic childhood memories, or it could be just a part of their personality. Mine is more along the lines of being part of my personality, and also part of what I had gone through while growing up in a town that looked down on me. And to this day, my anxiety can get pretty rough, but there are days where I can handle it very well, then there are days where I cannot handle it.

For those who do not live with social anxiety (which is what I have), here is an example of a situation in my everyday life: I am at a function (book reading, work, or even a get-together with co-workers, etc.) and on the outside, I seem happy and cheery, however, my voice slightly shakes just as my hands, and my mind is racing a thousand miles an hour, trying to look for an exit. Sometimes those around me, who know about this, will check on me and will say something to calm my anxiety or just make me laugh. And I am grateful for when they do that. However, there are times where I cannot handle it and there are times where even someone with good intentions will be unable to calm me down. Another example: At work, the phones are constantly ringing, and I talk to a lot of people throughout the day. While on the outside I seem okay, and somewhat normal, on the inside my heart is racing, and the thought of answering the phone makes my chest tighten.

On the days where I or anyone else out there that also lives with anxiety gets to the point of being unable to handle our anxiety, we retreat. In the first paragraph, I had described that we retreat to our homes or into nature, and that is very much true. Like everything else in life, everyone is different, and how and where we retreat will be completely different. One person will retreat into nature and just go camping for a few days, another will just stay inside on a weekend and not talk to anyone.

I have done both of these, however, for the most part, I end up staying at home, where I can stay in bed or chill out in a different part of the house with a puzzle, a book, movie, or music. I will wear my pajamas, dance like a fool, or just focus on a puzzle for hours, enjoying the silence, enjoying the fact that my anxiety has been put to sleep, at least until I venture outside and be surrounded by a lot of people. Throughout the years I have learned to manage my anxiety, and sometimes it does get the best of me, however, I have learned to embrace the chaotic part of my mind that makes me want to turn on my heels and run for the hills, thus making my life with social anxiety somewhat easier.

Do you have social anxiety? Do you have a different type of anxiety? If so, how do you cope with it? How do you retreat?

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Language of the Heart (Poem)

I speak the language that only you know,
while the rest of the world tries to decipher,
for it is our hearts that speak the same language.
The words speak the truth of my intentions,
they show that I want to sleep with you forever,
travel the world with you by my side,
and die in your arms.

From this day forward
I make you this promise,
that no matter how far we are apart,
I will send you moonlight kisses
till you are in my arms again.

* Painting commissioned by Vincente Romero Redondo

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Proceed with Caution (Poem)

Warning, warning!
Proceed with extreme caution,
one more step and they’ll put on the parental locks.
They don’t want to speak of it,
they dont want to have the discussion,
no they just want to push it aside,
and add more stigma on it.

What are you afraid of?
Afraid to acknowledge it?
Afraid to admit you were wrong about it?
Stop telling everyone that there is something wrong with us,
that we require to be treated as though we are dolls.
No, instead say it,
I dare you,
say the two words,
mental illness.

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Healing From the Core: Journaling

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When it comes to healing oneself, it can be rather difficult to find something that you can vent to about your emotions, struggles, and the things that are plaguing your mind. However, most people overlook the one thing that they could do to help them vent productively in a non-violent manner, journaling.

Yes, it sounds a little strange for adults to be journaling, especially since the prime demographic is young teenaged girls and boys; however, there are plenty of adults who journal. In fact, I am one of those adults. I journal several times a week, my journal has become a book filled with different things from my meditation sessions that I just went through, my dreams, and overall, just my emotions in general. It helps me figuring things out on paper, and it truly helps, especially after I’ve written what I need to write down, I can look back and see what symbolic thing that is going on in my life at the time.

Journaling is one of the most therapeutic ways of dealing with everyday stress and just life in general. You can pour yourself out on pages among pages, without the fear of judgment or ridicule. In a way, journaling is a therapist that you can vent to about all of your problems, and just dive into what you are truly feeling. It can help you come to terms with a lot of things that you are dealing with internally, while also helping you deal with your past that you seem to be running from.

I’ve always believed that you need a journal that you resonate with, something that you feel connected to. This is due to the fact that you will be sharing your most intimate thoughts, feelings, and dreams to. So the picking the right journal will help you along in the process of healing. There are many places that you can go to find a journal from your local stores to online shopping, finding a journal that you feel comfortable writing in and venting to is highly important.

And do not worry what others will say if they ever find out that you journal, there is nothing wrong with it at all. In fact, it is perfectly normal to journal at any age.

 

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Meditation: Garden of Your Soul

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Turn on your preferred meditation music, and get comfortable by either sitting down in the lotus position or laying on down on your back. Close your eyes and sink into your position, as the music washes over your entire being. As the music makes its way gently into your mind, your mind will be cleared of any toxic and negative energy, and you will then become lightheaded.

At this time, your mind will dive into another world, a place where it will lead you to your final destination. In your third eye and in your mind, you will see yourself standing on the pier, overlooking dark waters. The dark waters whisper to you to take a dip, go ahead and take that dip into the smooth dark waters and let your body float down to the bottom. Before you can reach the bottom of the ocean, a bright light will make its appearance, seducing you to swim to it. Swim over to the bright light and feel your body being pulled through, the weight of your body has been reduced to feeling as though you are light as a feather. Once you are pulled all the way through, you will find yourself in the middle of a dirt path. You look down and you are now in a brightly colored outfit that suits your personality, and you feel ever so free to be your true self.

As you walk down the dirt path, you can see something coming into view, it is a temple, but this temple resembles your inner soul, your place that you can call home. Look at the details of it, remember the way it makes you feel, feel the energy coming from it and let it soak into your soul. Remembering these things will bring you closer to home, in your heart and soul.

Make your way into the temple, and walk about the smooth floor with your bare feet, and absorb the energy coming from the temple into your body. As you walk about the temple, you look outside, and there you see is a garden that resembles your complete home of your inner self. Walking outside and into the garden, you feel the delicious sensation of grass touching your feet. The sweet perfume coming from the flowers fill the air around you, making your mouth water. As you walk around the garden, while you smell the delicious air, and feel the tree leaves brush up against your skin, you hear something behind you. Turning around you see an animal presenting itself to you, knowing that it will not hurt you or you hurt it, you walk closer to the animal ever so cautiously. The animal rubs up against you and a sensation runs through your body. For some unknown reason, you know this animal, you know that it is apart of you. Suddenly the animal guides you around the garden, no words are needed for this conversation between the two of you. For your minds are connected, just as your hearts and souls are too. You realize that this animal is your spirit animal, one that guides you and protects you. You let yourself go, and put yourself into the animal’s control, letting it help you throughout your life and never letting you go. The animal leaves your sight, leaving you in the garden. Suddenly, you feel a tug on your body, making you realize it is time to come back. You walk through the temple once more, to find yourself on the dirt path. You walk up the dirt path, to where you had first arrived, then the bright light reappears to pull you back in. You find yourself in the dark waters once more, so you begin to swim. You reach the surface of the water, and find yourself wading back and forth. You know you don’t need to reach the pier, so you slowly wake from your meditation, bringing you back to reality.

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I Can See It (Poem)

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I can see it.
I can see you standing there looking at me,
As I walk down the path to you.
The tears streaming from my face,
match the ones that come from you.

I can see it.
I can see us living together,
Cuddling on the couch while we watch a movie,
create a family in that house,
and creating many memories.

I can see it.
I can see us living to the ripe old age of 80,
Living life to the fullest,
Creating recipes with the grandchildren,
And kissing each other for the last time
before we head off to the afterlife.
I can just see it.

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Brisk Autumn Sunday (Poem)

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The warmth of my bed keeps me from moving an inch,
The sounds of the rain on the roof make it easier to head off to dream land.
Though the thoughts of dreams surround my head,
the thought of the rain keeps me awake instead.
The smell of the rain lingers throughout this room,
just as it drops onto the streets outside my window.

This Sunday morning has gotten even better,
with the rain pouring down and keeping me tucked in my sweater.
For this season I know,
the rain will not end.
At least until November,
when the snow finally begins.