“You are going to get through this.” I’ve written a lot on here lately about my anxiety, and the ways it’s made life hard for me in the past. And it’s true–life as an adult has been hard for me because of my quirky brain. But finding out that this is how I work has also given me a lot of hope for the future.
“You have a really beautiful life.” I’ve been telling myself this a lot lately. For years I thought there was something wrong with our life, like somehow we had it so much harder than everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, life was definitely hard: we had three kids in 35 months, while Matthew was finishing up school and then starting his own business, and this all happened right after we got married and moved away from everyone we knew. So, yeah, we fit a ton of stuff into a really short amount of time, and then we had a crisis that brought everything to a head and me to the end of…everything. But once I worked my way through to this diagnosis, with the help of my counselor, I could see the beauty and goodness of the life I have. It’s not that my life is horrible and needs to change–it’s that my brain interprets the life I have pretty inaccurately a lot of the time, making normal things into impossibly heavy things, and heavy things into death sentences.
“This feels hard but it is normal, and I can do it.” So, this summer is going to be the best one yet, because I’m learning to change the self-talk that’s on rotation in my head. Instead of constant panic and negativity, when I catch myself going that direction, I tell myself the truth. And when I feel my body tensing up, instead of going further in my head to figure out what’s wrong, I’m simply breathing. Feeling, seeing, smelling…connecting to my physical reality instead of the faulty one in my head.
Finding out I have anxiety has been hard. But living unaware with anxiety was so, so much worse. Now I have the chance to engage the life I have, and while working to stop the cycle of anxiety is almost as exhausting as the spiral, I know it won’t always be this way. Because I have a beautiful life. And because I can do this.