I realized the other day, how much I have grown and how far I have come. How quickly I can identify my feelings and know when I need some peace and quiet. I know when I need extra time, more love, a good cry, a power nap or sappy country music. It hasn’t always been this way, and it hasn’t been an easy road to get here…but here I am.
A couple of weeks ago, around lunch time, I had an intense anxiety attack (the sobbing, hyperventilating, rocking back and forth kind). I was home alone, my parents were both at work and my sister was at school. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know who to call or text and that just escalated my anxiety attack. So there I was curled up in a ball on my bed talking myself out of it. Stopping the intrusive thoughts from circling in my head. Slowing my breathing down…counting with each breath in…and out… When I felt myself slipping back into the attack, I’d sit up and start all over again. It worked, eventually and I did it, all by myself! I’m proud of myself for being able to do it on my own, but there are times that I wish I didn’t have to.
I’m working on doing things for myself and putting myself first. It is such a foreign concept to me though because for years I was doing everything to help everyone else. I’ll never forget while in a CBT session I was asked how doing everything for everyone else was working for me? I said well it’s completely exhausting and she asked me why I was doing it then? I didn’t have an answer. It suddenly hit me that in order for me to help others I have to help myself first. That conversation happened a little over a year ago, and it has rocked my world.
I stopped putting myself in situations that I knew would cause me more heartache than anything else, just because I thought it would make someone else happy. I didn’t want to deal with the pain and anxiety of the aftermath. It’s never an easy decision to make to say no but sometimes you need to. But what if you start to second guess yourself. One of the worst feelings because your anxiety takes that fear and runs with it. So, do you suck it up because it’ll make someone else happy even though you’ll be miserable with anxiety and heartache for who knows how long? Or do you choose yourself and that relief travels through your body instantly? … Guess what…I choose me. An idea that never would have crossed my mind 3 years ago. Even now, typing it out… “I choose me” … is crazy.
Sundays are hard for me. I find myself reflecting on the past week and trying to prepare for the week ahead. A large amount of moving thoughts circling in my head. That uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s all right here, all the time. Even on my good days, my anxiety is never REALLY gone. It’s just well contained and less impactful.
I’ve also discovered that I have some anxiety when it comes to publishing a blog post. “Am I going to hear from anyone after I publish it?” “Do people actually read them?” “Does any of this actually make sense?” But then I hear from unexpected people, thanking me for sharing my battle and that makes it all worth it.