I’ve always been an introvert. I was labeled as shy growing up. Probably I had some form of anxiety. Thank goodness, till today no one has diagnosed me with anxiety. I’ll tell you why I say thank goodness in just a little bit.

I had few friends in school. Middle school I was teased. High School I had a hodgepodge of friends that were a mix of ethnicities. I went through high school fast and senior year had no meaning to me other than graduating and being done with high school.

I chose a career that was based on fear. That was my anxiety speaking and at that time, I didn’t know it.

After I graduated, sometime in the year or two after graduation, I took a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca and performed a compulsory and life changing ritual of Hajj. There I realized I had to live life with fearing no one or no thing, and fear was reserved for God/Allah as an expression of love. This realization was transformative for me.

I came back home and made some life decisions that I have no regrets for.

And this brings me back to my anxiety. Now, that realization didn’t magically cure me of my anxiety, however, it did set me free to find ways that anxiety wasn’t going to stop me.

I joined toast masters to face my fear of speaking in public. BTW, public for me could be a group of two!

I made other changes, including going for my Masters in Social Work.

Through all of this, no one detected my anxiety other than maybe being labeled as either “shy” or “arrogant”. Yep I was called arrogant by some people, LOL. If they only knew me!

If someone had labeled me as anxious and had my parents decided to take me to a doctor, I would have been given medications. At the rate medications are prescribed without looking at other holistic solutions, that could have meant a number of side effects, possible addiction, and a never ending path of finding the magic cure.

Instead I found a different path. One that few talk about.

What no one tells you about anxiety, is that you can fix it without medication!

Yep that’s right, I just said it.  I did it, and am living proof.

Mindfulness research has shown that the best and most lasting cure for depression and anxiety is mindfulness. What I love about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills is that, mindfulness skills are what I call umbrella of all the skills taught.

What helped me is a number of techniques, including those taught within the mindfulness teachings of DBT and other teachers.

To your success,
Musarat Yusufali LCSW