Justin Ricklefs


The Antidote to Anxiety

“Brooke, I think I’m having a heart attack.”

I wasn’t, thankfully, but with a family history of heart disease, she didn’t let me mess around.

18 months into the launch of our business, she grabbed my hand as we walked into the hospital for my heart test.

“Your heart is fine.”

“Well, then, why the hell does it hurt so bad?”

“Your anxiety is not.”

With the help (and acceptance) from Brooke, doctors, and my therapist, I started taking Lexapro.

Frankly, I was ashamed to do so. I felt like a failure. I felt screwed up.

My journey with the medication lasted a year, until I was able to taper off, but my journey with anxiety continues.

The racing mind. The dark clouds. The shame.

Mental health can’t be unpacked in a short story, but my own antidote to the anxiety comes in the form of being known, meditation, and movement.

When I let it swirl inside, or try and submerge it, it blasts up like when you try and hold a ball under water.

But when I talk about it, it loses its power. When I breathe through it, it loses its grip. And when I move, it dissipates.

The blue sky emerges again.

If you’re feeling anxious, you’re not alone. You might not be having a heart attack, but your heart certainly is under attack.

And it’s worth fighting for.

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