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Journal

self help: The Anti‑Anxiety Notebook

10/01/2021 by marie-michelle

Let’s be honest, anxiety is hardly taboo anymore, it’s become a pretty mainstream topic. Statistics are climbing and the pandemic hasn’t done us any favours. A few years ago, I unfortunately had to hit a wall in order to realize that I had what we call the sickness of the century.

It's fall two thousand and fifteen. I work for an agency as a graphic designer by day and do freelance work in the evening. I am buried under a pile of contracts. Great contracts for great clients, but my motivation is far from being on par. I spend most of my time wrapped in my bed sheets. I live there now. No need for an entire apartment, my bed is all I need. My bed and a frightening amount of tissues. If I am being honest, I don't know whether to use them or if I should just let my sheets soak up my sadness. Life has no more flavour. I don't even get excited about a color palette anymore. It's heavy. Everything weighs. I don't understand anything anymore and I can't explain why. I have a lover to hug me, a wonderful job and a bunch of contracts, amazing friends, a dog that adores me and a nice apartment with all the natural light you could wish for. My life looks exactly like the one I want. I couldn't even ask for better. I am just infinitely sad. Each day. Every night. For weeks.
It's heavy. Everything weighs. I don't understand anything anymore and I can't explain why. I have a lover to hug me, a wonderful job and a bunch of contracts, amazing friends, a dog that adores me and a nice apartment with all the natural light you could wish for
I have always felt pride in fending for myself, but I must finally surrender. I need help. I gather my courage and make an appointment with a therapist. Thank god I did. I started therapy, and quickly realized that anxiety was ruining my life in so many ways and that I had to gear up and face it. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), my psychologist walked me through many oh-so-effective sessions that taught me how my brain worked and how to recognize what didn't work as well. Recognizing thought patterns and reactions to events. It is now much easier for me to understand and deal with my anxiety. It is definitely the wisest decision I have made to date. I also had to start taking medication to help me find myself. I'm still taking it by the way, and I'm at peace with that decision. Although I got out of this harsh episode (which, I believe, was a necessary evil for me) I often feel the need to continue the work I have started in therapy. What works best for me is writing. When something happens, I need to take a step back and write in order to better understand my emotions. I love to always have a notebook at my fingertips. Some would say that I am obsessed with it. I can tell you that I have now found something even better. I don't know if it's my phone spying on me or if it's just luck (I like to think it's a bit of both!), but I've recently started seeing ads for this famous book on social media. I inquired and I HAD TO HAVE IT IMMEDIATELY (okay, I can be a bit excessive). Then, come to think of it, I realized that you need it too if you are, in the slightest, a bit anxious and would like a little help in analyzing & understanding what is going on inside. You probably guessed it, I'm talking about THE ANTI-ANXIETY NOTEBOOK. What do I like about this book? EVERYTHING. Designed BY psychologists advocating cognitive behavioral therapy, the book is structured to make you aware of the emotions you feel when anxiety rises and to categorize your thinking according to different negative thought patterns, all described in the appendix. The notebook's pages include some informative sheets on certain aspects that can impact your thoughts and emotions, such as the quality of your sleep. I started using it a few days ago, and already I'm sold. I want to sincerely apologize to my other notebooks I had already started to pour my heart into. I promise to find you another purpose. If you too feel the need to write about what's going on inside, I strongly suggest this notebook. If you have an anxious friend, I promise it will make a much appreciated gift. Click here to buy it! PS. Please note that the book is only available in English at the moment.