You Are Strong

If you made it through today – you are strong. There are times when you have to congratulate yourself on just pushing though from sunrise to sunset. I have been there. 100%.

Life can be ridiculously difficult, and add mental disorders on top of it, and it makes a toxic cocktail. But look! You made it through! I made it through!

Anxiety and depression did not win. Each day, each moment, that we press onward is a victory. We can do this. Together we can make it.

You are strong.

Victorious!

Today I drove  my brother to the airport at  Las Vegas, which is a few hours from where I live, and I had zero anxiety! It was such a smooth and relaxing drive, which I really needed since my time as been devoted to caring for my newborn daughter – She stayed at home with daddy. listened to music and sang as loud as I could! It was fantastic! 

Two and a half years ago, On a family trip to Vegas, I was unable to get on a bus because it induced a panic attack. It was a really low moment for me because I had never let my family see how bad my anxiety had gotten. However, shortly after the event, I decided to take a huge step and talk to my doctor about what I can do to help. He started medication, Paxil, and it was the best decision I ever made. I have not had a panic attack since that vacation! 

So today felt really special since, considering what I had experienced two years earlier, I was able to relax and drive! 

Yay for small victories! 

A New Anxiety

Since I have been pregnant, I have not experienced any of my normal anxiety symptoms. However, upon deeper self reflection, and some conversations with family, I have realized that my anxiety has shifted into constant thoughts of vomiting.

Let me say here that before I got pregnant, I always had an extreme hatred of throwing up. I had a slight anxiety of getting sick in public, although I’m not sure why, because it has never happened.

Fast forward nearly 5 months, and I have been throwing up A LOT! Morning sickness does not just occur during the morning. As a result of this sickness, I have begun to have ruminations about getting sick in public or when out to eat, since I have gotten sick several times while eating at home. I have noticed that I spend A LOT of my day thinking and fearing getting sick outside of my home. I have several trips over the next few weeks (vacation and work trainings) and for the last several weeks I have been stressed out about them. I am afraid to drive in the car, eat at a restaurant, stay in a hotel, and the list goes on. These constant thoughts cycle around in my head any time I have a quiet moment.

God brought to my attention that these constant ruminations were stealing my peace and joy. I have been avoiding socializing or traveling because of the fear of getting/feeling sick. I have desperately wanted to enjoy being pregnant but these thoughts have been getting in my way.

So, today I decided that I am going to renew my mind. I spent a lot of the morning in prayer and began to combat the thoughts that have been taking over. Every time I had a thought about feeling or getting sick, I would say “No, I am fine” or “So what, there is a trashcan over there”. I kept saying positive things to myself instead of negative. I am beginning to feel my mind lighten slightly and the idea of travel doesn’t seem so scary.

With my anxiety, in the past, I have been in a place where I didn’t want to leave the house, and I promised myself I would never get there again. I will not allow these thoughts to control me, or take away the joy of this pregnancy any longer. God has given me this child, and yes I may be getting sick at times, but I will no longer allow that to keep me from experiencing peace. I am taking back control of my mind.

It will not win

It wraps tightly around my chest, threatening to overwhelm me. 

But I will not let it win!

A feeling of hopelessness follows and I find myself lost in a fog of self pity.

But I will not let it win!

Anxiety threatens my happiness everyday and wants me shrink away in fear.

But I will not let it win!

Yet, through the darkness I emerge stronger and more courageous than before,

Because I did not let it win. 

Encouragement Challenge! 

I haven’t often thought about how my words effects those around me, however, today I was reminded that encouraging words plant a seed of hope in someone’s heart. I feel that it is vital that we encourage those around us, and let them know that they are created for greatness, no matter how dark it may seem. It is also important that we remember how good it feels to have an encouraging word when we were filled with self doubt. 

Tomorrow, I challenge you to speak encouraging words to at least one other person. Let them know you see greatness in them. That they work hard and you have noticed their drive. Anything will work. 

Let’s all work together to spread positivity in a world that so often feels negative. 

Finding strength

I have been sharing my experiencing with being in a new classroom environment over the past few weeks, and I truly appreciate all the kind words you have all given me. It continues to be challenging mentally and physically (since I’m not use to teaching straight through the day). It has also been challenging the safeguards I have in place for my anxiety. When my stress levels are elevated I find it more difficult to control my anxiety. I have had to be very mindful of what I am thinking, who I spend time around and how I relax. I have found that it is very important to take breaks from lesson planning, writing IEPS, creating projects and all the other things that go along with the job. I need time for myself. I never thought I would have a hard time pulling myself away from work! I am grateful that I love my job so much, and I am truly blessed to have this opportunity this year! 

I am finding strength from all of your comments! Thank you! 

Use your pain for good

I have to keep reminding myself that the pain of my anxiety can be used for good. I have to remember that the 30 years I have been on this earth have given me experiences that I can share with others.

Today, I was reminded during my bible study, that we are to encourage others around us and help them through their struggles. I have been thinking about this today and I realized that I (and those of you with any mental disorder) can truly help another individual who is struggling in this area. Mental disorders are often misunderstood and those with them are ashamed of sharing their problems. However, I must learn to view my anxiety as a blessing that will enable me to better serve those who suffer from anxiety or depression. I don’t want my years of darkness to be wasted. I want to use them to help others.

Is there a pain that you have experienced in your life that you have been able to use in a positive way? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Anxious today

I think my stress levels are catching up with me and I am feeling very anxious tonight. I just need to lay in bed and relax. Cuddle my puppies, snuggle my husband and read my book. I need to remember that I may be uncomfortable right now, but I am not always going to be that way. It will pass and I will be stronger! I just have to hang on! 

It will pass!