I realise now that I'm older that I was always anxious. It was always there, it just picked its timing to become difficult. After having my son, it really ramped up. Now I had this child who relied on me full-time. Me, who wasn't even sure how to look after myself some days. We had a couple of deaths in our family that were nothing shy of horrific. They were my undoing. But I was living, and I was thankful, and I promised myself I’d enjoy my life for those it had been taken from too soon. Despite being thankful, I got myself into a very dark place. However, after struggling for years with an eating disorder, I knew this could get better. Even on my darkest days when I was merely going through the motions I thought that there had to be a way. But I found no enjoyment in this beautiful gift we call life – my incredibly patient husband, the gorgeous child I had produced with a body I had tortured for years, a loving family, my friends who became family, my work family who supported me even when the bat-shit crazy started to come through. The people who just 'got' me. They knew when not to coddle me, when to calm my crazy irrational thoughts, when to take me down from that mentally unstable ledge, to just tell me they loved me or even to tell me I was being a dick! Cos you know what? Having anxiety doesn't make me want you to feel sorry for me, or to treat me any differently or to tell me I’m ok when I’m not. That’s not ok. It's not ok to be spending your life just going through the motions!
Enjoy every breath, every sound, every person who has time for you - and your family and the life you have been given to live. Find something that works. As tiring as it feels, don't give up on finding your happiness. Perception is everything. I learnt this in therapy. I learnt that how I see things doesn’t mean they ARE. Anxiety is the best storyteller you will ever find. It creates anything and everything out of nothing, until you let it, until you act, until you believe what it’s telling you. None of its stories are true, until you decide they are. That part is up to you. Do you want to believe in them or believe in YOU?
My journey is far from over, but I have found excitement again. I'm writing this on my first solo trip since having my son. It’s the longest I have been without him (a whole day!) and I'm a nerve sandwich! So far I've wanted to throw up, crap myself, and have felt faint, packed and unpacked, am sure I've left my beloved makeup brushes at home, have driven around the airport carpark unsure where I should park, and then been sure I'm on the wrong flight !! But I'm going to be just fine. Just like you. You are NEVER broken.