Queues of vehicles jam Athens' ring road

Growing Healither Everyday!

Everyday I find myself experiencing more and more personal victories that I never thought I would be able to reach. One of my most difficult anxiety triggers is traffic jams, and today I was stuck in a HUGE one. It took us 2 hours to go 14 miles! We had just driven onto the highway when we realized that traffic was stopped. Literally, we had to put our work van (since we were heading out on a business trip) in park for 10 or minutes at a time! People around us were going crazy, jumping out of their cars, driving on the median, cutting people off and driving across to the other side of the highway to get out of the traffic. Being a mature and law abiding citizen, I did none of these things, well I should say my husband did none of these things. He was lucky enough to be chosen to go on this training with me. I feel very blessed that he was able to go on this trip with me this time because being around him helps me feel calm and peaceful.

When I first saw the endless line of shining vehicals, as far as my eyes could see, anxiety immediatly clawed at my chest. I felt the rising panic threatened to send me into hysterics, but I was on a work outing and I couldn’t let anyone see the terror in my eyes. I keep practicing my self talk and told myself over and over that I would be ok and that I would not be stuck in the traffic forever. It will pass. Slowly the itching panic began to subside and was replaced with calm. Even though we were stuck in the car for two hours, only going 10 miles on hour, I never complained. I whinned a little, but only about how frustrating it was. I remember times in the past where I had full on fits or panic attacks when I was stuck in traffic. BUT! God has brought me so far along in my healing and I am so thankful! It was a huge test to be able to pass and I am exstatic!

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You are meant for something great!

No matter where we are in our lives, We are meant to do great things. We are meant to live a life of hope and prosperity. This may not mean our lives are easy or there are no longer struggles we are going to encounter. Instead, It means that in the face of hardship we will rise above to new heights and become stronger than our troubles.

Remember, you are meant for something great! Don’t ever give up on yourself.

What the heck is love?

Love. This simple four letter word has ignited passion throughout the ages. Plays, poems, songs, novels, and even war have been inspired by this little word. It’s hard to comprehend that such a tiny word, with only one syllable, has been the very reason why we all exist. Our creator designed us out of love and we pursue it in all aspects of our life. Whether it be romantic love, family love, or just a passion for an activity you engage in that gives you pleasure and fulfillment.

But love is more than a word. More than the verbal confirmation of affection. Love is not just a noun. Love is a verb. An action that must be continually demonstrated through our own lives to express the truth that these four letters possess. Love is dedication in the mist of hardship and struggle. Love fights through times where everything seems impossible and the darkness is all encompassing. It sparks a burning ember of hope that begins to lighten the dark and pushes aside the despair and ruin.

Love cannot just be spoken. Words are not enough. Saying the right thing at the right time cannot determine the depth of love. Love is action and Actions alone show love. Choose to demonstrate acts of love to those around you. Most importantly, look for others heaping these loving acts towards you. Don’t harden yourself against it, open yourself to the beauty and joy that are the side effects of love. Believe me, I know it is scary, but it is worth it.

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The importance of support

When you suffer from anxiety, as I do, it is vital to have at least one person on whom you lean on during your most difficult times. A person who will love and accept you, just as you are. Someone who knows the way you need to be soothed during a panic attack, or knows just the right words to string together to form the perfect verbal cure for your affliction. Facing anxiety alone is never a wise decision. Believe me, I tried for years. In my own ignorance of my disorder, I felt that I could take care of myself. I thought that if I could not handle my own anxiety I was weak. However, as time has passed, and I have discovered more about anxiety, I realize now that my refusal to reach out for help, whether medical or emotional, was my true weakness. My pride blocked my road to healing for so many years. Once I was finally able to reach out to those around me, I began to healĀ and find my way back to myself.

My family has truly been the strongest support in my life. This includes my darling husband, loving parents, my supportive brother. My in-laws have also supported me in times when I needed a shoulder to cry on or an ear to yell at. I would not be this far in the healing process without them.

I believe that God has been beside me throughout my entire journey, however, I was too stubborn to accept His guidance. I thought I would be able to face it myself and I knew better than He did. My way was best. Of course, I was wrong. Over the years I heard the faintest whisper to reach out and tell people what was really going on instead of hiding behind plastic smiles and forced laughter. Only when I decided to listen to the whispers and expose myself to those around me, did I receive the greatest blessing I could have ever received. Support. My biggest fear was that people would think I was crazy or creating drama in my own mind. I thought people would change their opinion of me and stop wanting to be around me. These thoughts couldn’t have been further from the truth. As I opened up about my struggle, more and more people opened up about theirs. I no longer feel alone. I feel loved and accepted. Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all want to be loved for who we are, and not who we pretend to be? It is one of the most incredible feelings to experience when you express your struggles and find acceptance waiting for you.

I encourage anyone who is hiding behind false happiness and fake joy to admit you are struggling to at least one person. Let someone know that your life is not as perfect as you let on, and you need someone to be there in your times of weakness. Be brave. I know you can be!