“Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.” I repeat this to myself many times a day.
“Calm down” I tell myself. “Quit being irrational, quit over thinking, STOP analyzing every detail of what you said or they said or you should have said. . . “
I regurgitate these words so much that they spill out like I’m reciting my favorite poem for the millionth time.
Living in a mind full of anxiety is like living in a maze, yet there is no correct way out. No matter which turn you make at every corner you will be led back to the feeling of your heart racing and your mind going off in so many directions. You can’t quite pick out which direction to focus on. You don’t know which problem to solve, nor can you make sense of which ones are true problems and which ones you are over analyzing and creating the problems.
I’ve mentioned this in past blog entries; I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember.
I can recall sitting in my bedroom when I was in Mrs. Grattan’s second grade class, and I was on the edge of my white bunk beds, sobbing in the middle of the night. . . Why?! because I was worried I hadn’t done my homework correctly. I was terrified I would be scolded or yelled at for not getting the answers right. Now, I was a fairly smart kid. I always had good grades and always loved my teachers but the anxiety would creep in and I would spend countless hours crying and worrying that I would disappoint someone. That I was a disappointment.
I still (& probably always will) spend countless hours over analyzing conversations I’ve had, past and present. I will think and rethink about events that have taken place. I’ll read messages and comments over a thousand times looking for some deeper meaning behind them when truly I should just take them for face value. I’ll type a message, read it over and over, then delete it because I don’t want to be a bother. My mind will probably always be an exhausting place to be. This is me, though. This is how I’m wired and that is more than okay. It has made me the person I am now. & when the anxiety isn’t fighting me, I truly love who and where I am.
Over the years that I have struggled with anxiety, as well as post traumatic stress disorder, I have sought help. I went through therapy and have taken medication when I’ve needed it. I have learned strategies to cope and forgave those I needed to. However, anxiety isn’t something we are ever completely cured of. This is a battle I will forever fight in my own mind. A never ending war.
I am certainly blessed that I have always been surrounded by people who accept me and all my anxiety induced quirks. The reassurance they give me that I am not a bother, that they love me and aren’t going to leave me, the reminders that they are proud of me. I couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful for that.
My point to this and the reason for writing about this in regards to my weight loss is simply that we are ALL fighting battles most know nothing about. While I have always been a confident person, for the most part, my anxiety and weight has always been in my head. I fear failing at this journey, still. I have the irrational thoughts that I’m still the person I was a year ago. I sometimes look in the mirror and do not see who I am now but who I used to be. That person was not a bad person, but she was not truly happy or healthy. I have days that I still wonder if this was the right decision for me. I have moments where I worry that sharing this with everyone wasn’t the best idea because I am sharing one of the most trying, emotionally charged, hardest battles I have ever fought. And by sharing it with everyone I open the door for judgements, negative comments, laughter, and so much more.
But after the anxiety passes; I remember why I am sharing this & who I am now. I share all of this for a whole list of reasons. . Inspiration, understanding, accountability, honesty, etc. And through this journey I have found strength I forgot I had, a smile that was fading beneath layers and years of harming myself, laughter at the joys in life instead of making jokes about the weight I was carrying, and love from those around me and for those around me.
Recently I sent my best friend the comparison of myself a year ago and myself this past weekend. ( see picture below) Her reply was something like “I don’t ever remember seeing you like that. I guess I never saw your weight.” This comment hit home for me. My anxiety used to creep in and tell me that everyone only saw my weight, that when I wasn’t there they were whispering about it, laughing at me, having pity for me. They weren’t. And while my weight has changed and they have noticed and cheered me on each step of the way they still don’t see my weight. They see my heart, my love, my kindness, my personality; they see me. & that is what I need to remember when my anxiety try’s to creep in and make me believe any different.
Anxiety will probably always be a part of my life; but I refuse to let it control my life or deter me from pushing myself forward on this journey. ❤️