Anxiety: opening up to God

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The first time I had a panic attack it felt like I was having the worst case of heartburn imaginable while simultaneously trying to breathe through a tiny straw. I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room during my junior year of college. I remember it was a beautiful fall day, and I had the window open. I was struggling to finish a paper when suddenly it all hit me.

My memory of that first panic attack is blurry, but I remember coming out of it laying on my bed looking out the window. I just kept begging myself to breathe deeper and deeper. My hand was on my chest, feeling my heart pounding away.

I have had a long, winding journey with anxiety. I’m in a much more stable place in my life now, but I still need to work on my anxiety on a daily basis. It is something I normally do not like to talk about, but in my last five years as a monk, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people I’ve talked to who have experiences with anxiety. I do believe we are in the midst of a mental health epidemic, and it does not help us to stay silent about our experiences. I do hope what I say can be of benefit to someone.

 


I do believe we are in the midst of a mental health epidemic, and it does not help us to stay silent about our experiences.

 


 

 

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