Home world Anxiety is an invitation to change, and Daniela succeeded in that

Anxiety is an invitation to change, and Daniela succeeded in that

Anxiety is a word that has become quite familiar in our everyday speech lately. Fear, but the unjustified, unrealistic and worrying growth that grows unbearably fast for many has become a reality. Danijela Mladenović is smiling, cheerful, optimistic and free today from a woman who did not leave the apartment unaccompanied for two years, who overcame agoraphobia.

Daniela is known as the Anxious Optimist. She dedicated her work to those who share her fears and anxieties, but she accepts everything she does only with optimism and faith in better days. Her original idea was to write lyrics for herself, to make her feel easier, and then to help others, but her words and thoughts found their way to a large number of people. The need for the word exceeded her expectations. She trained and now works therapeutically with people who have a problem with anxiety.

“The coronavirus may be just a drop in the bucket. We were already tired, alienated, antisocial, under great pressure, with huge demands and expectations from ourselves and others. The future was completely uncertain when the crown came. We have seen how the world can stop in a few days. That scared us collectively, and we were all already fragile. Unfortunately, there are more and more people who have anxiety and depression. And that trend continues. “Social distance, prohibitions and restrictions and the fear that is promoted, unfortunately, will make many people feel anxiety on their skin”, says our interlocutor who does not hide that she thinks that she is “born like that”, sensitive, caring, empathetic, worried for all the people around you.

However, she began to feel the first serious signs of anxiety when she moved from her parents’ home, due to college.

“That is the moment when you are still a child, and somehow overnight you become responsible for yourself. The period of growing up and maturing brought additional fears to me. What if I fail? What if someone provided me with everything and I didn’t finish college? Where will I work? Where will I live? How are my loved ones? What if something happens to them? What if something terrible happens to me? Of course, at that moment, I knew that something was happening, but I successfully pushed that “something” under the carpet. I managed to perform everyday tasks with great difficulty, but they became more and more challenging. Going to the lecture became a challenge. Going to the exam was an almost impossible mission. Those were the first signs that something was wrong with me, “she said, recalling the day when her great personal struggle began.

A panic attack followed, often accompanied by long-term anxiety. Then Daniela felt all the devastating weight of helplessness. Suddenly, that attack happens, which makes it cruel, because you jump from everyday life to something closest to hell, the edge of death that is real to the destructive limits.

“Dizziness, sweating, nausea, rapid heartbeat, struggle for breath, strong urge to escape … I know that there is no danger, but my mind cannot understand it. Eventually it passes. It’s always like that. What remains for some time is a feeling of exhaustion, sometimes depression or shame. Often a feeling of anger. How is it possible for him to overcome me like that? That’s how I felt when I had them, desperately. “

In addition to panic, Daniela also had a problem with agoraphobia. She did not leave the house for two years, and her life was especially difficult because she was already a mother at the time, so she could not lead a normal life with her son. She called on her imagination to help, so she made up for his trips outside with an interesting everyday life within the four walls. She was, she says, creative, resourceful.

Danijela overcame her fears and today she is happy and fulfilled (Private archive)

“Now that I remember that period, I laugh to myself. New technologies have helped me cultivate agoraphobia. Everything arrived at my home address, from food to clothes. Courier services and delivery services were mandatory. I took the child to kindergarten with a neighbor, but he would often stay with me at home, because I would not be able to take him away even with an escort. Everything I didn’t have to do, I put off. I even worked from home, finding part-time jobs. Of course, the closest ones helped as much as they could, but I would run away from the store even when my mother goes with me “, he says.

And during that time, her absence was the hardest for her.

“Fear was so present that I became completely absent. I couldn’t focus on talking to someone, I couldn’t go anywhere, and I didn’t feel good even when someone came to me. In prison without bars, in his own home. I was also afraid that other people would see that I was feeling bad, that they would not worry about me. So I avoided everything. I was afraid of everything. For two years, I didn’t go out literally anywhere by myself. And if I had to go somewhere, it would be accompanied and with great effort. This year I turned 33 and then I realized that I no longer celebrate my birthday, I celebrate being present, living.

And then a fight ensued. Day after day, breath after breath, she breathed more, stronger, strengthened and freed herself, working on herself, from her fears. She discarded her mental shackles.

“I often talk to my son, I ask him if he remembers when we couldn’t go anywhere … As a reminder of how successful I was. Yes, my child suffered a lot. He didn’t go to the park regularly, not to mention other things. But he was not with me when I started going out and exposing myself. I would do that while he was in kindergarten. Later, when we started walking a little, he was immensely happy. My first day outdoors looked hard, honestly. When you have agoraphobia, it’s not like one day you decide to go out. It is necessary to face fear. These are unsteady steps, trembling body and walking again. It’s a pain. It is joy and happiness. It is a thousand emotions at one time, both beautiful and difficult. That is a thousand thoughts, whether I will succeed, what to do next and whether he will ever come back. “

Daniela also says that her happiness is that she is a neurotic optimist in everything she does, that she keeps trying again, does not give up and always believes in the best.

“Every step I took made me what I am today. Yes, my path to overcoming anxiety was a long one, but now everything makes sense to me. I went through it to do what I love today, to be able to make it easier for others. People learn a lot more when you show them, not when you tell them what to do. If I hadn’t gone through all that, I wouldn’t be able to show it to others today. I am blessed with the burden I carry. When I help others find meaning in their lives, then everything in my life makes sense. ”

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