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Living with anxiety can make some of the smallest things become one of the hardest things ever. For my latest adventure of pushing myself more and more to go out places so I am able to live my life with anxiety. Instead of anxiety living my life for me.
The latest adventure would be going bowling with a friend and my friends friend. This bowling alley would be about thirty minutes away. I opted to drive myself there, alone, as this is easier on me. After getting to the area of where this Brunswick Zone would be it was no longer there and another bowling place was in its place. I had my heart set on going to this Brunswick Zone so we decided to go to another one instead. Which was 30 minutes in the other direction from the thirty minutes I had already driven. So it took about an hour or so of driving to finally reach this place, and to go bowling with my friend.
I am happy to report that this was another success for me. I was able to go out and be out bowling for 4 and a half hours total. Another success. I did make the terrible mistake of leaving my bowling ball in the trunk of my car for 3 years, and found that it has a giant crack in it, and I could not use it. The only downside to this adventure. Perhaps when I start going out more often I will start bowling again, something I love, and can invest in a new ball. It’s crazy how anxiety can take so much from us.
Next weekend I will head up to the mountains for a week in the Poconos. I am very terrified about driving three hours. Being committed into driving like that is so scary for me. As there is nowhere to go once on the road like that. I have driven that far before and know I can do it. Yet, with anxiety and living with it so long, it still makes me nervous and anxious. No matter how many times I have done it. I don’t know if I will ever not feel this way about things. Even writing about it, is making me feel a little anxious. The mind is a great tool and a terrible adversary at times.
I can do this. I do not have to let anxiety control me.
Around these parts today was Valentine’s Day. So if you celebrated it, Happy Valentine’s day… Or for me it was Singles Awareness Day. I celebrated it by taking myself to see Deadpool in the theaters. I’m not embarrassed to say I took myself there. One day perhaps I will take someone with me on a date. One step at a time. Baby steps. Oh, I also survived the movie.
I am one that goes through many trials within my health, and being able to function “normally” like some can. I am not always able to eat certain foods without my body reacting to them. Going through such an ordeal can be taxing for ones sanity at times, and can be a hard cross to bear. As such I also see others who go through much worse things than what I do. I ponder many a time why is it that we as humans go through such ordeals in life. Why is it that we can not all have “perfect” health? Live a life that does not have those types of woes.
Then one day when I was thinking about it, I thought about this.
“A person who has good health all the time. May not appreciate what they have. They may smoke, drink all the time, do drugs, or even eat poorly. A person that has known only poor health knows the value of good health. They will do what they can to have it. They will eat properly. They will not drink excessively or do drugs, and will take care of themselves.”
I sat back and realized how true it is. How many of us want that quick fix, or pill to fix us up. Yet, how many of us will do the work in our diets and lives to be healthy. I know at times I can be guilty of not making the best choices when it comes to eating. Those cupcakes can be mighty delicious.
It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom with my health and it was affecting my way of being and living, that I knew I needed to make changes. I knew I had to do what I could and what was in my power to change my life. I have and I have not looked back on it.
Food to ponder, or I should say words to ponder..
I spent years of my life on the quest of wanting to have a normal life, not deal with what I deal with. Be like all the others out there. I will tell you from first hand experience. When we are searching for that “normal” life. We will spend our time searching for something we will never grasp. We will never have what we think is “normal.” We have what we have. It is up to us to find our peace with it. Find the joy in what we are facing, and become happy in us. When we are not feeling that way, the depression and sadness, and anxiety sweeps in. We become lost to it. It defines us. And becomes who we think we are. Only when we break free of that cycle can we come out of the depression and into a whole new life for ourselves.
That’s not to say we should not make the changes we need in our life. Like exercising, or getting help if we need it. We just know and accept who we are, and know this may be “normal” and we are able to be happy with it. We don’t need to compare ourselves to others, or think we need to be like them to be happy. We are who we are and proud to be who we are.
For the vast majority of people they do not think Twice about what they are going to do in a day. They just open the door and go. For someone like me, with anxiety, we can’t help but think about what we are going to do im a day. It’s like second nature to us.
It’s that thinking that prevents us from doing so much in life. So when we can do something, it’s a huge deal for us. Today was one of those days for me.
Today I would go out to the mall looking for something. So off I went to the mall looking for what I was looking for. I was calm and collected the whole time. Even looked up and down for it for a good amount of time before realizing they didn’t have it and drove 10 minutes to another store to check for it. Eventually I would visit a total of store various stores across 3 or so hours there. All with no luck finding what o was looking for. Yet I still had success of being out all day in public places. While it was just myself it is another step in the right direction to having a better life.
I still have to work towards doing this more often and work to including others but I am proud of what I accomplished today and how far I’ve come in life. When I wouldn’t even think about doing something like this.
For some people one of the hardest things to do is to accept yourself exactly how you are. We have grown up in a society that puts a certain life style a certain look ahead of others. When we do this we place them on to a pedestal that in most cases we can never be. We compare ourselves to what others have and how they look.
For those that are not on that pedestal we see ourselves as being flawed. We feel we are not good looking enough. We don’t make enough money. Eventually we start telling us that we are not good enough. We slowly start to despise and hate ourselves. We find it hard to even look at ourselves in the mirror because we detest what we feel we have become.
I can speak from personal experience of looking at someone else life and wanting and dreaming of having a different life. I can even recall spending countless hours praying for something else and then feeling forsaken because of not receiving it.
Growing up my whole life I have always fought with stomach disorders. I have seen that disorder become a major part of my life as well as a major part of relationships. For some it can be hard to be in a relationship with one that is unable to do certain things. When we go through turbulent times from heart break or down on our luck it becomes natural for us to either fight it or run from it.
Growing up I always found it easier to run from it. Why address it head on? Why bring on more pain? We can always just escape our lives or our realities if we want to. What I didn’t know at the time was that no matter how hard I wanted to run and how far I wanted to go. There was nowhere to run to that was away from myself. For wherever I went I was still there. We can only ignore something for so long before it eventually catches up to us.
For me that catching up was the realization that my life was not a happy one. I had always hoped that if I ignored life then life would ignore me. Unfortunately life is going to happen regardless if we want it to or not. I had always hoped that I could change who I was and be someone else. Reality was I could only be this one person; the person who I am.
The biggest moment of peace came to me when I had the realization that this is who I am and there was no changing that. The acceptance of me as who I am as an individual was the start of inner peace and happiness.
The acceptance of ourselves as who we are does not mean we cannot become something more. Those, like myself, that do not have the best health at times. We can seek out treatment and ways to live a better life. We just have the inner peace of mind with knowing that while we do look for treatment even if we cannot find any treatment that we are great just the way we are with knowing that this is a part of us. Will it always be a part of us? Only time can tell the answer to that question.
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” — Nathaniel Branden
One of the hardest things about anxiety, depression, and the like, is that eventually one starts to hate themselves. They start to hate that they feel this way, or that their body does this or that. They hate that they are not normal like everyone else. When they start down that path they start to not have love for themselves. When you start to not love yourself it is very hard to have happiness and be happy in life. They say one can not love another until they love themselves. Learning to love myself was a very, very hard thing to do. I have learned that it is hard to face these challenges in life if one can not love themselves because they can not have confidence in themselves. So everything becomes so much harder for them.
Self love is one of the most important types of love a person can have in their life, yet so many lacks this type of love.
A lack of self love will create all types of problems within oneself. Those problems can have a long lasting effect on a person’s mind and body. The problems can be anything from low self esteem, negative thinking, to having feelings of inadequacy, feelings of not being good enough.
Low levels of self love, for the most part, stem from poor self image that someone else has created for you or that we create for ourselves. Being told one was not good enough, one was not attractive enough. They lead to low levels of self love, low self esteem, and poor self consciousness.
Many of us when looking upon ourselves only see disgust, and see faults within. At times we can be our own worst critic, and judge ourselves too harshly. It also doesn’t help when we compare ourselves to others, and when we place high ideals upon what we “think” we should look like. As well as what outside sources tell us we should look like, or what media uses to represent what beauty is.
The first step to breaking free of its grip we must learn to accept ourselves. We must accept everything about us, from our head to our toes. We must accept the good as well as the bad. We must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, and will probably make again. Each and every decision we make in our lives. We make with the knowledge that we possessed at the time. That decision made us who we are, and brought us to where we are in our lives. If we felt that the decision was not the best decision, or that we could make a better decision, we must accept the one we made. We then take the knowledge we have from our error and use it to not make that mistake again.
Let it go. Let it all go… Is what most people would tell you. But when you live with anxiety, as I do, it’s not that simple for us.
For us the past can have such a tight grip on you, sticking its big nose where it does not belong. In your life. Messing things up. If we could easily just let it go, throw it all in the trash, we wouldn’t all be faced with anxiety. We wouldn’t get anxiety attacks. It would be a stress free world for us. The worst part about it all, is we have a tendency to hold onto not just events and experiences, but the people that caused those bad experiences for us. The irony being we hold the bad stuff and prevent ourselves from finding and allowing new stuff in our lives. Our fears of the bad stuff prevents us from allowing stuff that can be so much better for us to enter our lives.
Letting go of things and people is something I am working on in my life. I can even be a pack rat at times keeping papers and documents I no longer need. Under the false guise that I could need it again. The things we tell ourselves to do things. I swear sometimes having a brain is a bad thing. Is a lobotomy an outpatient procedure?
I will learn to let go. I will allow the past to be the past. I will allow myself to live in the present. I will let go. I will live freely.