Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
By: Katie McLean
Anxious and Alive is one year old.
In the beginning, I had a few friends write blogs for the site. I thought I could probably get quite a few people to write, and I could post once in a while when someone felt compelled to share. Soon enough, I was posting a new blog every 2 weeks, one of which brought over a thousand people to the site in the first few months. Then the huge volume of writers started contacting me, and more and more stories started coming in. Some from people I knew, but for the most part strangers who were about to give me- and subsequently hundreds of peoples- a glimpse into the biggest challenges of their lives.
Soon I had so many writers that people would have to wait months to share their story. So I started posting once a week. And to this day there has been a writer for every single week of 2016 so far (except those weeks that even my own stress gets in the way of the site!)
I can't express how grateful I am for everyone who has shared their story, and everyone who is going to share those in the coming months. I have learned so much about people, the human condition, and the incredible resilience and bravery people have.
I have learned so much about suicidal ideation and attempts, and during this process of personal growth, learning, and healing I lost a friend to suicide. Chris's actions shook me to my core, and made me realize how important this work is. I realized that all components of the ego that come into play when searching for success meant nothing. Pouring my heart into caring for others was the only way to succeed and to try to avoid other tragedies such as his death. Chris kept telling me he wanted to write for the blog, and that the day would come where he felt the strength and was compelled to share. Sadly, he was compelled to do something that impacted so many people by giving us the feeling of the deep loss of a beautiful soul.
If there is one thing this year has taught me, is that we are all more powerful than we think we are.
This means so many things to me. This means we are resilient. This means we are capable of healing ourselves. This means we can get to the darkest corners of our lives, and spot the light on the horizon. This means taking your own life will shatter people you never even thought would notice. This means we can all help others in so many ways. All we need is a little compassion for ourselves and others, a lot of empathy, and a pinch of bravery to take the first step.
Thank you for taking this journey with me and for supporting A&A. I truly hope it can help even a few people, and I look forward to challenging myself and those who are supportive of A&A to create and share meaningful content for you all.
xoxo Fear Not.
Katie McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and bases her anxiety aid in personal experience, as well as techniques that have been passed on to her by counsellors, friends, and fellow anxiety sufferers.