Best Holiday In a Long Time!

This Christmas and New Year’s has been the best we have had in the past two years. Two years ago, on Dec 19, I was flown into the hospital to have my daughter, at only 30 weeks. She was born on December 23rd and we stayed in the NICU until February 11th. I have a few previous posts about it all. It was a really turbulent time in our lives, but we made it through. Our daughter, just turned 2 and she is perfect, intelligent and incredible! But for the last few years, Christmas time has filled me with anxiety about the memories of what we went through.

Then, on top of all the anxiety I had last year, my entire family came down with the stomach flu on Christmas day! We spent the day, and several sub-sequential days, taking turns puking! It was awful! UGH!

So this year, we tried not to plan much, and play it by ear. Not jinx anything. But it turns out we had nothing to worry about! This year, the worst thing that happened was that my husband got a head cold! We had such a wonderful time being healthy together! We were able to go on some adventures like the Zoo and a few ghost towns.

It was wonderful!

Dealing with the Everyday

My first week of back to work (aka school!) is under my belt, and I already feel like I have been teaching these kids all year. They are just great! I have a fantastic group of 8th graders this year, and they seem to really click with my style. It is the honeymoon stage, but I’m really looking forward to seeing where this year takes us.

This week, I have struggled with my anxiety again. I am not sure what triggered it, but it was high for a majority of the week. I knew I couldn’t let it take over because I wanted to be present for my students, as well as my daughter. I have limited time with her now that I am back in school, and I want to use every moment to the fullest.

To combat my anxiety, I just pushed through. I tried my best to keep a positive attitude, and when I felt like I was falling apart, I opened up and shared with a friend. I think if is important to have someone you can talk to when you have high anxiety.

I just feel it is imperative that when we feel our anxiety at its worst, we don’t give up. Living with this disease for so long has shown me that the dark days pass. They really do. As long as you fight back. Don’t give up. Don’t let it win. You can experience peace, even if you think you can’t. I never thought I would EVER feel anxiety-free, but I do! Sure I still struggle, but I know it will pass.

It will for you too.

Doing It, Even If I Don’t Feel Like It.

Today, my anxiety was through the roof, I was exhausted, and my body ached all over. I didn’t want to doing anything, and least of all, spend the day running around the house after my daughter.

I woke up thinking I would put on the tv and lay on the couch binging on Netflix and Hulu, while she played around the living room with her toys. I could recuperate, and she could learn to entertain herself. Everybody wins.

However, that is not how the day turned out! Luckily for me, my daughter is an angel, and the mere sight of her fills me with such joy that I can hardly contain it! So, of course I couldn’t resist her when she wanted to play!

We ended up spending nearly two hours in our little pool, reading books, eating yummy snacks, and lots and lots of cuddling! It was such an amazing day! I feel like we took our relationship to a new level, and it felt wonderful.

Since becoming a parent, I have been learning that when I push myself beyond my comfort zone, I experiencing incredible rewards. Had I decided to stay on the couch and watch tv instead, my daughter would have been fine, however, we would have missed out on our one on one time.

I am going to put this principal into action in my everyday life and look for opportunities this week to go beyond my comfort zone! I challenge you to do the same!

When Anxiety is in the Room

It steals away moments of happiness

And replaces it with gloom.

The sunshine seems so much darker

When anxiety is in the room.

We cannot let it control

And fill our hearts with doom.

We must preserve

Until joy starts to bloom.

Surrender to the moment

Currently, I am lounging outside on my hammock admiring my beautiful back yard as my adoring husband tinkers around, and my daughter enjoys her toys. My heart swells with such love in this moment. This ordinary, precious moment.

Sometimes, my anxiety is too high to allow me to see these moments, but today it is pushed aside. I am surrendering to joy. To happiness.

It’s much easier said than done, but I vow to continue working at it until it is easy. Anxiety won’t steal anything else away from me. God has given me such a beautiful life, and I plan to enjoy it!

Hit Hard

Last night something triggered my anxiety (not sure what) but it was raging out of control. I felt like I was no longer in control of my thoughts, and they were leading down a dark path. I have always found it difficult to combat anxiety at night, because nighttime means quiet. There is nothing to distract me when I feel the strong grip of anxiety start to take hold, and that’s exactly what happened last night. I lost control.

My husband woke up in the middle of the night and I told him about my struggle, and he was able to comfort me, but not free me from it. I was finally able to fall asleep, but anxiety followed me into the morning.

I spent a lot of the morning in prayer as I went about my daily routine. I felt weak mentally, so I knew the only way I could win was through funneling my thoughts towards God. Things finally began to turn around when I heard a song on the radio talking about in our dark times, we need God. In that moment, I was reminded that I am not the only one in this battle. I am not the only person who has dark moments. I felt myself begin to take back control, and slowly, peace replaced anxiety.

I felt I learned that when I am hit hardest with anxiety, I tend to isolate myself. I feel like I’m the only person who has dark moments. But I am not! If you ever feel this way, know that I am there with you! We are all in this together! I believe that Satan wants us to feel isolated, because alone we are weak. But together we are strong!

Anxiety is a difficult beast to understand, but bringing it into the light, helps lessen its grip! Bring yours into the light. You can win, just as I did today!

Weekly progress

This week my anxiety has been a little higher than normal. This is mostly related to my “monthly visitor” but, regardless, I have had a difficult time managing it. Most of my frustration was put on my husband, which is completely unfair. He is an incredible man, and doesn’t deserve to be the barer of my anxiety. He was very understanding, even though he did call me out on it (which is why I love him).

I found I was also anxious about my daughter growing up too fast! She is only 15 months, but since she has been walking she seems to have blossomed into an adorable little toddler. What the heck? It is overwhelming sometimes to think about how fast time goes, and I don’t want to loose these precious little moments with her now. I know I am overreacting a little, but it’s honest. I want to keep her safe from the world forever, and always cuddle her at bedtime.

To help my anxiety, I have been spending more time in the Word and in prayer. This has helped immensely. After my time with God, I have felt lighter and less anxious. I Am going to work on continuing to draw close to God when I am anxious, and not take it out on those I love the most! ❤️

Choose your reaction

Today when you are experiencing a moment in your day that isn’t going according to plan, choose your reaction. Don’t allow anger or frustration, or sadness to win. Take a moment and choose to be at peace. Say, “Ok, God, this isn’t what I expected, but I will trust that it will be ok.” How much better will our day become if we treat all of our unexpected circumstances in this way?

This is my challenge to you. And myself.

No Complaining!

Today I am going to focus on all the wonderful things I have in my life. Nothing bad. Nothing negative. My focus is on the good. I want to instill this mindset on my students! I hear so many of them talking poorly about themselves and their lives. Yes there are students who have horrible lives and they have a right to complain, but I want to teach them to find the good in the world!