As I write this I am sitting in my car at a park near my job. I am thoroughly enjoying the sun’s rays pouring into my car from every window. Its one of those days where it’s just a little too chilly to be outside.
I realized that the last time I was parked in this same spot, I was laying down in the back seat of my car, doped up on xanax, crying, and experiencing tremors all over my body. If that isn’t a pretty picture of “rock bottom”, I don’t know what is. Now here I am, less than six months later. Free of any medication, reading Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (I’m working on paying off all my debt), and enjoying an iced tea from Starbucks. I could not be happier. It brings tears to my eyes to think about where I was then, and how much better I am now. I have even had an extremely stressful day at work, but somehow I have inner peace sitting here at the park.
What changed? My perspective on life. The realization that the world and my body are not my enemy. Changing how I react to different people and scenarios. Acceptance! Accepting that things will go wrong and it is OKAY to have anxiety feelings, and not believing that my imagined stories and predictions are or will become the truth. Allowing myself to be pissed off when I want to be, and painfully honest with those I love.
I feel like I owe the world to my therapist Ken. I know what he would say if I were to thank him though: “it wasn’t me, I just guided your own self-discovery.” And that is true, but I’m also calling bulls*@!….he is an amazing counselor and is one of the most intelligent and wise human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Someday I hope to repay him for saving my life and helping me become whole again. I also owe recognition to Byron Katie, an author referred to me by Ken. Check her out if you have never heard of her.
I wrote this post originally as a private entry, but decided to make it public. I feel extremely accomplished and almost euphoric. If you have an anxiety disorder and have felt freedom from it, I know you’ll understand.
So here’s to positive change and knowing that I will forever struggle with anxiety, but now I have the tools to not let it run my life..and they don’t come in a little orange pill bottle!
An important addendum:
My friend Taylor reminded me of something that I am ashamed to have neglected to include. GOD has a HUGE part in helping me through my anxiety struggles. I often find myself reading the book of Job and feeling an immense amount of comfort through His word. Reading through Job’s trials and tribulations will make anyone’s life seem like a piece of cake. Through every panic attack and every moment of desperation, I never felt abandoned by God. For that, I am incredibly grateful. Thank you to Taylor for being a constant reminder through your words and actions of just how good our God is 🙂