Facing Opposition Head-on!

Facing an opposition head on can be a terrifying and intimidating idea for those who of us who struggle with anxiety. The mere thought of going against the fear that consumes our minds triggers tight chests and shortened breath! Speaking from experience, someone with anxiety would most likely prefer to go out of their way to avoid their fears instead of facing them.

In real life avoidance may not be possible. Opposition may be something we cannot hide from, so we have to decide to take back control. Our fears will no longer control us! We push onward in spite of the anxiety we feel.

Fear will not keep us from living our lives, it will only force us to be stronger!

Lessons I Learned From The Fault in Our Stars

It is not often that a story touches the hearts of so many people in such a profound way I believe the Fault in Our Stars is one of those stories. I have read the book and seen the movie, and I have felt my heart utterly envelop the characters. I feel their pain. I burst with laughter right along side them. I swell with love as their story unfolds. Even though it is heart-wrenching, it teaches us so much about life and death. About finding acceptance with the life we have been given and being able to find love in the most unlikely places.

There are so many lessons from the story that I can apply to my life. For instance, even though I do not have cancer, I have other demons in my life that plague me and I wish, more than anything, I could be free of them. I wish for a life without plagues. A life where I could just be happy instead of wasting so much energy on working to win internal battles. However, when I step outside of my self, I see the beautiful life that surrounds me. I see the love that my husband gives me everyday. I see my parents and my brother showering me with affection. I see my students and co-workers enjoying my humor and passion. When I close off the fear of my own mind, I see the beauty that God has placed in my life. Seeing these things lessens the weight of the plague I bare and strengthens my resolve to never give up.

I have been learning that we all have internal battles. We all face challenges in our lives that wear us down. I am not alone. You are not alone. Together we are strong and and conquer anything. As John Green says, “that’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” Without feeling pain, the feeling of joy cannot be understood. Without anxiety, there is no peace. The burdens I carry were given to me for a reason, and I choose to accept its weight. I was created to be strong and it will never win.

that's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt

Life is meant to be Lived!

There have been times in my past where I hid away from the world. Buried myself deep inside my blankets and imagined myself in another life. A life that was anxiety free. Where I was able to conquer the world and be a hero in everyone’s eyes. I lived my life through characters on a page or on the television. I honestly thought love and adventure was true for everyone but me. Everyone else was destined for something great, but I was only destined to be full of fear. I did not think I deserved to be happy, and I am not sure where this thinking derived.

As I have grown older, I realize that life is not meant to be watched from the sidelines. It is meant to be grabbed by the horns and roped and bent to your will. Everyday we are alive is another chance to make something great happen. To find beauty in the unexpected. Experience transformation of the soul that is triggered by jumping head first into adventure. I know now that this applies to me. I was not created to be a creature of fear and dread. I may have anxiety, but I am NOT anxiety. This disorder does not mean that I am a less worthy human being, it only means that I am human like everyone else. All people struggle with something dark and are afraid to expose it for fear of rejection, but we cannot continue to miss incredible life moments because we are afraid of our weaknesses! We must break down our walls and show our true selves, good and bad, and watch the world around is transform into a more accepting and loving place.

Do not love your life in fear of your own weakness. Do not let it hold you back from the destiny you were created for. Take a risk. Be stronger than your fear. Overcome.

Why Can’t We Talk About Mental Disorders?

I want to go on a small tangent for a few hundred words, so please bear with me 🙂

If you have read a few of my earlier posts, or my bio, I have talked about my struggle with anxiety. It is something that has been apart of my life since I was young. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out what was wrong, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. When I was in college I finally realized what it was, and I will admit that I felt relieved, or even happy, to be able to put a name with what was happening to me.

My internal struggles did not end with a diagnosis. I continued to try and keep my affliction private because I was afraid of what people would think of me. I had (and still have) wonderfully supportive parents, but it was new territory for them so they weren’t always sure what to do. Whenever this would happen, I would end up getting HUGE hug, which looking back on is hilarious and amazing all at the same time! I have had close to a million hugs over the years 🙂 Thank mom and dad! I love you! 

There were not many people who knew about the internal battle that was waging inside of me everyday. My ex-boyfriend, of seven years, was obviously one of the individuals who knew about what was happening. However, he was not entirely supportive. Let me be clear here, he was not a bad person, he just did not understand anxiety. It is very difficult for someone to understand the pain and embarrassment of fighting anxiety unless they have been directly affected, either through a family member or themselves. He would become frustrated with me when I would have bad days. He did not understand why I couldn’t stop “worrying” or “get over something”. For someone with an anxiety disorder, there is nothing more painful than hearing “just stop worrying about it” or “just get over it and move on”. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if anxious people (myself included) could just say “Hmmm I’m going to stop having anxiety and move on!” Show me that world and I would LOVE to visit  🙂 People with an anxiety disorder cannot just get over it. Anxiety is not a switch that can be turned off by sheer willpower. It is a disorder that takes time to understand and practice to control. 

Needless to say, my ex-boyfriend and I broke up shortly after I moved to Arizona. I have no feelings of discontent towards him, he did the best he could with what he knew. There were dark days when he was there for me, and I fully appreciate that and am grateful to have had him there. After we broke up he called me one day and apologized to me for not understanding my struggle. I will always treasure those words and I am eternally grateful that he expressed them to me. 

When I moved to Arizona, I knew no one, had no connections and had to start my life over from scratch. I had such an amazing adventure! I met so many new people and traveled to places I never knew existed. I ended up meeting an amazing man, who understood my struggle with anxiety and he ended up being who I ran to during my hardest days. He would talk me through the anxiety and help me to focus on other things so I could keep my head above the water and not feel like I was drowning. He knew just what to say and he made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. Four months later, I ended up marrying him! (I know, crazy right? Quick!) (WARNING: Corny gushing will be present for the next few sentences.) My husband is a treasure I can hardly believe I found. Without his guidance and encouragement, I don’t think I would have been able to fight my anxiety head on. I would still be afraid of it and living in denial. He taught me that it is ok to live with anxiety. It is ok that I am afraid. He also taught me to try and be bigger than my anxiety. He often tells me “You are in control, not the anxiety.” Recently I have had terrible struggles with this disorder because of a birth control pill I took that sent my anxiety into hyper-drive. I didn’t realize what was going on because I was so lost in my own fear. As I have gotten back on track, he has held my hand every step of the way and encouraged me, in his own ways, to work to fight back. He often coerced me to leave the house when I didn’t want to (I think I needed a little coercing at that point) and he always listened when I needed to vent. On my roughest days, he encouraged me to go to God in prayer. There is no way I would have been able to come so far in my healing without him by my side. 

Anyway! Enough with the googly stuff!

Now that I am a few months away from being 30 (ahhhh) I am finally completely understanding what is going on. I have learned so much over the years and I am so glad for the support system that I have in place now. I no longer am ashamed of having an anxiety disorder. It’s not my fault. I am not weak. I am not lacking in faith. I am the opposite of these things. A Mental Illness is no different than any other physical illness other than the fact that it is in the brain. It is as simple as that. I lived for years in fear of what others would think, and even what I would think of myself if I admitted I had a it. Now I feel empowered by knowledge and understanding. 

We should never be ashamed. We are strong! 

Hello Anxiety Free Day!!

Today I overcame an obstacle that I never thought I would have the strength to overcome! I went through the entire day with almost no anxiety! I will admit that for about 30 minutes had some anxious discomfort, but I was able to remember my my coping techniques and push through it quickly! Keeping a positive attitude, breathing deeply and remaining in prayer. Also, about 2 months ago I began taking a very small dosage of  anxiety medication to help even out what is functionally happening in my brain. It was a very difficult discussion to make. I struggled a lot with feeling weak and not wanting to depend on anything other than my own strength. However, I have been learning that admitting I needed something a little extra so I could get back to feeling like myself, shows courage and strength. My husband and my family have provided me with such amazing support system. I know I could never have come this far in my healing process without them. 🙂


I am very proud of how my mind did not stick to the anxious thoughts and I was able to revert back to a positive mindset. There have been times in my past where I would remain constantly anxious for months at a time. I still have rough days, even with the medicine, but my good days far outweigh them. When I was younger, I never thought I would be able to live happily while still having this disorder. It feels wonderful to know that it is possible! It is possible for everyone!