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'Suffering from a chronic illness for so long left me with intense anxiety'

Hi, my name is Kristie. Five years ago I was diagnosed with chronic migraines and my world as I knew it ended. I lost my dream job and was confined to my bedroom. After trying conventional medicine but to no avail, I set off on my own path to heal myself. Four years later, I am now a year and a half migraine free. However, suffering from a chronic illness for so long has left me with intense anxiety. When you suffer from migraines, you try to protect yourself from the world and any possible migraine triggers. But even after I became migraine free, I was still in this 'protection mode' which basically left me fearful of so much in life, thus causing me severe anxiety. Even though I appeared to be free of the affliction, I was still experiencing tension headaches and a lot of tightness in my muscles, even after trying physiotherapy. The symptoms were coming back no matter what, which was when I realised I had to get to the root cause of the problem. Anxiety. I began having cognitive behavioural therapy, which works by addressing your beliefs, attitudes and negative thought patterns to help change your behaviours and actions. I worked through and dissolved the cognitive distortions that I had created, learned the art of reframing and how to overcome my anxiety step by step. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't easy and took a lot of work to change the fearful beliefs I had ingrained in myself, but was totally worth it. As a result, I eliminated nearly all of my headaches and got rid of my muscle tension, and gained the freedom and confidence to be able to rebuild my life. My anxiety is by no means gone, and it is still a daily struggle sometimes, but I am able to manage it now and I have the tools and capability to not let it stand in the way of creating a healthy and happy life again.

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