“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
Hanh Nhat Thich, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
I have suffered from chronic anxiety for over 30 years. Most of that time I suffered but I didn’t know why. It was only recently, with the assistance of my doctor, that I came to realize that my hair twirling and tricotillomania were physical manifestations of my anxiety and that I remember doing both of these from about age 8.
Once I realized that what I felt 99% of the time was not how most people felt and that I could feel better, I was relieved. I suffer from chronic depression as well, as do many people plagued with anxiety, so knowing that anxiety might be causing the depression, or at least making it worse, lifted a huge weight from my shoulders.
For years I’ve been on Prozac and Xanax, and more recently Lorazapam to help combat my anxiety but, although it helps, my Prozac dose gets bumped up every 6 years and I’m taking more and more sedatives just to function in my normal day.
Recently, though, I’ve discovered meditation. I am still new to it so I only do 5 minutes once or twice a day but one 5 minute session can bring about a peaceful state for the majority of the day.
Even with a four year old.
I’m not saying that I’ll be able to get off the antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds completely, but I know that I am moving in the right direction.
I’ve never felt more at peace than I do after a meditation session and I don’t plan on relinquishing that feeling anytime soon. And I hope that daily meditation will help me to become a less angry and more peaceful human being.
Meditation gives me the tools to let go of the anger and anxiety so that I can start to find my happiness through a peaceful and centered mind.