I thought I’d feel different. I said to my sister not long before my wedding day that I felt like once the wedding was done, I’d feel euphoric. All anxiety would slip away. That I’d have done the “hardest thing I’ve ever had to do” and so I’d feel invincible. Makes some sense, right? Overcome a mountain and you’re stronger for it.
I still believe this is true.
Except I don’t feel euphoria. My anxiety hasn’t disappeared, leaving a mystical confident and self-assured version of myself.
I had a horribly anxious day yesterday, just because I was going bowling and out to eat with friends I’ve known for over 15 years!
My social anxiety has not gone away, it seems. It still has its claws in me.
I did a meditation on this day. It was for anxiety and overwhelm. I cried. I repeated the mantra “it’s okay.” And I reminded myself that this anxiety journey will take more time than I thought. Maybe forever. But I’ve gotten better. I’m not as ill as I once was. It doesn’t control me as much. And so, with each year and each brave thing I do, I’ll get better and better.
But it won’t disappear quickly. It’ll slip away in millimetres. Almost unnoticeable. Until maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll look back and say, “wow, the prison has gone.”
I hope so.
But part of me knows I might need to be realistic and assume that anxiety will be a passenger in my metaphorical car long term. I just need to minimise it into a smaller voice in the car with everything else. The other passengers being creativity, love, compassion, and bravery.
Maybe my anxiety will become the annoying little dog that yaps along the car journey, but you tell it to be quiet and ignore it as you go! Instead of the driver. Never the driver.
Luckily, it hasn’t been the driver for a while. More so the loud, arrogant front passenger who tells you how to drive even though their instructions are rushed, rough, and often wrong.
So anyway. It’s here. It’s frustrating to accept but I must. I am hoping to learn more about the body. I think I have a foundation of knowledge about the mind and psychology. I’ve been to therapy many times. I have a counsellor I can book an appointment with when I need her to help clear the mental clutter. I have tools in my toolbox: journaling, therapy, walks, yoga, exercise, time with family, crying, laughing, creating; meditating and so on.
But I need to learn more about the physical body. How anxiety is influenced by the foods and drinks I consume. My hormonal changes. My gut health in general. My anxiety is very much a stomach virus that attacks from my centre. And so, I want to learn more about that and try to influence it consciously.
Mantra: I am still capable of living my life, and worthy of love, even when I have to deal with my anxiety.
Sending my fellow anxious bugs all the love and understanding I can throw across the ether. Look after yourselves. You’re not alone. You’re not crazy. You’re not incapable.