Bittersweetly back home

it is always difficult leaving my family back in Ohio and coming back home to Arizona. We are such a close family and it is so hard to be separated by so many hundreds of miles. However, this trip was fantastic and I loved being able to spend quality time with them. My husband was able to go back to my hometown and see my extended family again and enjoy being gushed over. He hadn’t been back for the last two years. It was hard for him to get to Ohio while he was getting his masters. 

As difficult as it is to say goodbye, I love the life I have built out here in Arizona. I feel like I have flourished into the woman God has designed me to be, and there are have been so many wonderful things out here. My husband. My career. My friends. And of course my dogs! 

Technology has made a huge difference because whenever I miss my parents or brother, I can FaceTime them or just shoot them a text! 

Here are some pictures of my husband and I traveling back to Arizona yesterday! 

   
 

Reliving pain through words

For the last week I have been staying at my parents house, the house where I grew up, and tonight I came across my old journals. I would write in them every night, sometimes more, to make sure I captured every moment of my day. My husband had looked through them a few years ago and mentioned how sad a few of the journals were sad. I knew he was telling the truth but I couldn’t bring myself to reread them at the time, because the anxiety I felt in those pages still effected me to that day. 

There were three solid years of darkness for me. The pain was in NO WAY caused by a single event or family member. My parents offered me every opportunity in their power and worked hard to make sure my life was comfortable. There are no words to express how grateful I am for having them as my parents. However, no one in my family, myself included, realized I was battling an internal war with anxiety.

 It really started to wear me down and I was terrified because I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that I didn’t feel right. 

Tonight I decided to look at the journals and flip through them. After this year of healing, I was able to separate the woman I am today from the girl I was then. I really was sad and scared. It was almost too difficult to read. 

Tonight I am feeling very blessed that I have come so far with the help of God, my family and my friends. I was in such a dark place and i never imagined I could ever live in a place of light! I can go days without anxiety, when all those years ago I couldn’t even go a minute. 

Remember, there is hope when you feel that there is none. 

Here is a snapshot of an entry I wrote… I have always addressed my journals to God, so that is who I am talking to.    

Here are the three journals that are filled with the worst years of my anxiety. I am so glad that I have come so far! 

 

Exhausted by fun!

Tonight I could barely bring myself to post because I am so exhausted from our trip to the zoo! I love that my family, ages 25-62, was excited to go to the zoo! Neither my brother or I have children, but we all had a blast! 

   
   

No one knew I was taking their picture here! HAHA!! My dad in the background is hilarious! And my husband is trying to help my mom with her phone and my brother is watching the elephants!   

Continued family time

Today we met up with my brother in the city and enjoyed a rainy day in Columbus! We went out to eat in a restaurant that specializes in buffalo meat, and it was delicious! I have never had buffalo before, so it was a religious experience! 😀

After we had dinner we FINALLY got to see Jurassic World! WOW, is all I can say! I honestly felt like I was a kid again, seeing new and terrifying monsters all over again. I love loosing myself in a great movie! It made it even sweeter to be able to enjoy it with my entire family! 

   
         

Laughing lightens the heart

In the moments when my anxiety has been heaviest, I have discovered that laughter helps me heal. Whether a students makes silly jokes, my husband tries to lighten my burdens, or my dogs are just weird; laughing makes it all seem less painful. 

I have learned that laughing about my struggle with anxiety has truly made the disorder less powerful. Before, I use to keep it hidden in the darkness, but now I can bring it to light and view it with humor. 

Remember to find moments to laugh! You won’t regret it! 

  

Visiting old memories

Today I took my husband to visit my grandmothers homes. He saw the house in town where my father grew up and the farm where my mom grew up. I felt so many memories return when I visited. I hadn’t been there in almost 5 years! It was awesome to visit! We had a fantastic time! 

It was also wonderful because I had ZERO anxiety today! YAY! 
   
                 

Change our thinking

Perhaps we should change the way we think about our hardships. Instead of seeing them as something that holds us back, I say that we view them as what catapults us into our futures. Our struggles are what shape us into the people we are today. Would like be infinitely better without hardship? Yes. A thousand times, yes! However, to get a beautiful photograph, it must first be a negatice. It then goes through the long process of development, and only after that can it be turned into a photograph. 

This is a fantastic metaphor for our lives. We will always face hard times, however, to overcome them we must keep the bigger picture in mind. The pain we feel now, during development, is NOT the end result! It is only refining us to become what we are created to be! To be strong and courageous and a light to those around us. 

Remember that when you experience pain, you are growing into the person you are meant to be!