People have described me as fearless, which is funny because I'm scared of everything. A good friend once told me I was the bravest person he knew, also amusing because I live in a perpetual state of anxiety.
I've struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember — though it wasn't diagnosed until high school. As a kid, I would pace the halls, peering out the window while I waited my mom to return home. Until I saw her car headlights, my brain swirled with dark, brooding thoughts that maybe she'd been in an accident or kidnapped. I would utter repetitive prayers up to God until I saw the lights. These prayers were the only way to deal with the spiraling thoughts in my head. While they felt redundant and ritualistic, they were better than plaguing myself with more worry. Later, I realized these moments as held one of my truest insights into coping with anxiety: prayer.
When severe, ongoing anxiety interferes with day-to-day life (beyond the typical worrying ...1