Hi, My name is Monroe and I suffer from anxiety. I have never been to a doctor about it but I know what it is. It creeps in and out of my life without warning taking up valuable space and time. Like an old lover who sends a Hey Big Head text every few months. I wrote a little about it years ago. I also wrote about it in the 4th Digital Issue of Steele Magazine, which you can read here for free. Over the years my anxiety has gotten worse. It creeps in so slow I can barely perceive it until I wake up one morning and my entire body is curled in a ball so tight I can barely get out of bed. My main anxiety trigger is stressing about money. The security of not having a steady paycheck every 2 weeks when I first went Full-Time blogging, plagued my every thought and controlled every decision I made. It was a constant worry that I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills or my rent or live the kind of lifestyle I was accustomed to. Y’all know I like to shop and eating out is one of my favorite hobbies. 

Those first few months of being a Full-Time Blogger and freelancer wreaked havoc on my psyche. I needed massages every week because my neck and jaw were so tense. I’d wake up in a tight ball every morning still feeling restless because my sleep was comprised of me tensing every muscle in my body all night. At first, I thought I was just cold while I was sleeping (this was in the winter of 2018). So I got thicker blankets and a heater and still every morning I was so tense it physically hurt when I got out of bed. I tried exercise. I tried meditation. I worked hard so I’d forget that I was worried.

The anxiety would quiet itself. Some days I wouldn’t be as tense. I took to reading before bed to quiet my worry and the one thought buried deep in my mind that I never let out. The only thing that really worked was cutting back on coffee and making more money. With every new campaign that came in I felt the tension lodged between the two bones behind my ears loosen. The longer my money went the closer to feeling free from anxiety I became. Eventually the anxiety would just go away on it’s own.

2019 has been the best year of my life. It’s been a really challenging yet really rewarding year and it ain’t even done yet. Every day I wake up with a grateful heart. I’m blessed to be able to live the life I actually dreamed about when I was a young girl. That young girl would sit in her back yard in North Carolina, looking up at the sky and trees and daydreaming about what her adult life would look like. I couldn’t have ever imagined my life would be this amazing. I literally feel like I am walking in my purpose and fulfilling my destiny. Yall, there is nothing more freeing in the world than the feeling of walking in your purpose.

Even if things don’t go your way, you just know it’s going to somehow work out in your favor. It’s the best high in the world but anxiety doesn’t care that I’m out here living my best life. Even knowing what I know about manifestation, destiny and faith. Recently, I had a bout of anxiety so bad, I was desperate for medication. I was tired of waking up stiff and feeling extremely tired even though I’d slept a full 8 hours. Even though I’d been making good money, I was nervous about expenses for upcoming trips and that payouts for the money I’d been making was months away. I’d done $20K worth of work that won’t hit my account for months and I couldn’t shake my anxiety this time.

It was the first time that I felt like I needed medicinal help. I don’t normally like taking medication. I don’t like putting things in my body that aren’t naturally occurring things already inside me. I barely even take pain pills unless I’m desperate. I know how to handle physical pain. Physical pain and I are very familiar with each other and I can kick it’s ass any day of the week. I’d take physical pain over anxiety any day. Anxiety is a whole different beast. I’ve classified my anxiety as tension anxiety. I don’t have too many racing thoughts. It’s just one worry about money that’s so buried in my mind, I can barely perceive it. It’s the tension that manifest from that single worry that completely shatters me. Imagine clenching your jaw for 10 minutes straight non-stop. Now image clenching it for 18 days straight. That was me last month when I begged a friend for some of her anxiety medication, scheduled a message and acupuncture appointment and consulted my friend on a referral for his weed man. I even told my mother. Which is how I know it was bad. She’s a nurse and I was hoping she could send me something to ease my tension. I told her all the things I was thinking of doing and that probably wasn’t the wisest thing. Cause now she was worried and that just added to my anxiety.

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I’ve gotten pretty good at functioning normally even when my anxiety is at an all time high. You’d never know but this last bout broke through the facade and spilled out all over my reality. I stopped drinking coffee. That helped a bit. I would sit in total silence and try not to think about anything. I’d envision being surrounded by nothing but white light. That helped some. I meditated, I danced, I read, I worked. I acknowledged that I was stressed about money and stopped burying that worrying thought. I would say it out loud over and over until my brain was satisfied. I’m not burying it in my body anymore, I’m letting it out. Eventually, so slowly I didn’t even notice it was leaving, it went away. I was back to normal. I felt rested after sleep. My body was no longer ravaged with overwhelming tightness and tension. If it ever gets this bad again, I have a referral for doctor. And as I write this today, anxiety has already crept it’s way into the left side of my jaw every so slightly. This time, for the first time, in a long time, it’s not about money, it’s about a boy.

Read more of my Essays Here. I do write for real sometimes.

xx

Monroe

SHOP STEELE MAGAZINE

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Special thanks to Shopbop for hooking me up with this amazing dress and DSW for the shoes!


21 Comments

  1. Bridgette
    August 23, 2019 / 9:09 am

    Thanks for sharing. Letting it out releases the crippling hold it has on your body. I am also happy to hear you are open to seeking professional help. Walk good my friend. Blessings!

  2. August 23, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    Ugh. I can soooo relate. I think reading this actually helped me realize that I’ve been battling anxiety all summer. I’m a deeply spiritual person, so prayer, meditation and studying my bible have been my saving grace, but I think you just showed me – it’s anxiety. The tension when waking up after a full night of sleep was something I was just attributing to pour sleep positions. Wow.

    Continue to keep your head up and keep your anxiety down. I’ll keep you in my prayers as well.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 23, 2019 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Kendra! Im glad it could help!

      Best,
      Monroe

    • August 25, 2019 / 9:52 pm

      I just pin pointed mine too, and I do those things, prayer, meditation and study the Bible.
      It’s really not easy when one is worried about the next phase of their life’s journey, that’s where I am right now.

  3. Sam
    August 23, 2019 / 11:25 pm

    Hello just discovered your blog recently and feel like we’re kindred spirits. Wish we could talk more in details and this post was very eye opening for me in my current situation. Thanks for being so open and honest.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 25, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Lavette
    August 25, 2019 / 4:30 am

    This is a great topic to share and create open dialogue for yourself and others who are dealing with anxiety. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lavette McGill
    August 25, 2019 / 4:42 am

    You are definitely living your best life …… these shoes are super sexy, the bag is to die for, and yes yes Yes the DRESS!!!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 25, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Dayna
    August 25, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    I’m curious do you have hesitation about seeing a therapist? I noticed you asked friends for meds but didn’t go to a professional yourself. There’s a great podcast called Therapy for Black Girls is you want to check it out.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 25, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      Not at all. I’ve seen a therapist for other things. Just not this. I have a referral for one for this specifically as well. I just have to pay outta pocket and its a lot.

      Monroe

  7. August 25, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    Currently dealing with anxiety too, it creeps in here and there. And it’s the same one you went through, esp now that I don’t have it steady every 2weeks. I also left my job to face school and my passion interests ; blogging inclusive. Working has drained me so much that I feel like I don’t have any creative energy left but I am getting by. And it’s so hard to catch up, I am like money isn’t even going to start comimg in immediately so how , where will I even start from? That’s when anxiety kicks in, if not for your post, I wouldn’t have known that’s what it is.

    Love all your contents, you inspire me.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 26, 2019 / 10:17 am

      Thanks so much! I’m glad this post helped! I appreciate your support.

      xx
      Monroe

  8. Atiya
    August 26, 2019 / 12:01 pm

    Wow! Thank you for being so transparent. I too suffer from anxiety. And it’s bad. It causes me body pains, sleeplessness and a constant worry about literally everything. What I try to do is to eat well and allow myself plenty of down time where I can get it.

    You’re doing great girl! Keep fighting!

  9. August 27, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this Monroe. I have anxiety over money as well, it’s so bad I haven’t been sleeping well at night for WEEKS. Glad to know that I am not alone and that there are safe spaces out there for us to get the help we need. I hope you get some resolve soon!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      August 28, 2019 / 9:35 am

      Thank you Karese! Girl it can be a real pain but it is getting better. I appreciate you reading and I hope it gets better for you too.

      xx
      Monroe

  10. Janell
    August 28, 2019 / 1:47 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I, too, have battled anxiety, especially at heights of doing very well in my life. I’ve always waited for the bottom to fall out or for something to go wrong. Therapy and faith have helped, however we also must get to the core through assistance in other ways.

    Not that you asked for this but love your blog and it’s in my spirit to ask: Have you gotten a financial planner? You don’t have to be rich to do so and they can really help put your mind at ease about your finances and creating cushions for yourself being self-employed. (I was also a freelancer and self-employed, so I definitely understand the pressures of waiting on checks to clear, waiting on 60-day accounting cycles to be paid or sometimes not even being paid at all due to a company having financial issues.) Also, try a few investment and insurance strategies that will create a cushion for you if you haven’t already. (You’d be surprised how insurance can be used for emergencies or to help you in times of low-earning periods. I was a journalist and editor for Black Enterprise and we wrote about this extensively.) I think if you create a solid plan with assistance from an expert or someone to hold you accountable, the anxiety will subside. My therapist told me that anxiety thrives on lies while a plan is something tangible and focuses on reality–what is true.

    I hope this helps! Love you!

  11. Lisa
    August 28, 2019 / 4:15 pm

    I am so grateful for your candor. Keep in mind some anxiety is normal as we embark on new ventures. Keep saying to yourself to not be anxious for nothing! You got this. Keep your faith.

  12. September 1, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    Sorry to hear of your anxiety, we all at some point experience anxiety whether its financial worries or ‘boy’ worries its definitely relatable. Its understandable to constantly think about your coins when you go from getting a steady paycheck to being an entrepreneur. When you are accustom to living a certain way its terrifying imagining anything different. But Ive been following you for a few months and with your drive & consistency EVERYTHING will work out for you! And as far as ‘boys’, continue living your best life, who is meant for you will be just that❣️

    • monroesteele
      Author
      September 2, 2019 / 9:16 am

      Thanks so much!

      Monroe

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