I am beyond proud of myself and the healing journey I have been undertaking over the last few months. I hit a huge milestone today! I needed to buy groceries and I decided to go to Walmart, since I needed to pick up my Christmas Cards. When I was ready for check out, I noticed that only 2 lanes were open and there were several hundred people at the store. The line was nearly 15-20 people deep! My natural reaction would be to leave the cart, groceries and all, and sprint as fast as I could back to my car. However, I fought the urge to flee. I waited in line for at least 30 minutes and not once during that time did I get anxious! I couldn’t believe it! All of my dedication to wellness is finally paying off!! Last year at this time there is no way I could have stood in line with that many people.
Remember that if you are in a place of hopelessness, that there is always time to heal. There is time to grow and learn to live with anxiety or depression or any other mental illness. Do not write yourself off! You are strong!
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!
I had a meeting today after work, and I have been dreading it because the last panic attack I had was during that last time I was in a meet with these same people. That was 2 months ago, and I have come so far in my healing, but I was still very nervous. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. I was sitting in the meeting, where I was suppose to be a professional, and I suddenly felt a panic attack kick in. I had to excuse myself for a few minutes, but I had to go back even though the panic attack was still occurring. It finally did pass, but it left me shaken and on edge. So, today I was dreading the meeting, and of course it was at the end of the day. I just did not want to experience another panic attack in front of everyone.
However, with self talk, my medication, and practicing deep breathing, I DID NOT HAVE A PANIC ATTACK!! I am so proud of myself and how far I have come in the last few months! I honestly thought that I would not be able to sit through another long meeting, but I proved myself wrong!! YAY!
The last two days I have been in a work training with representatives of the state, and I have to admit that I am proud of myself because I didn’t have any anxiety at all during the entire meeting!! It feels good to be at this place because just 3 months ago I had a panic attack during a work meeting. It was horrible. I have come a long ways and 3 months. Lots of healthy eating, prayer, exercise (yoga is my fav) and family support!
My advise to anyone struggling now, is to keep pressing forward. Know that your present or past DO NOT define you. It is your choice to mold your future how you want it to be @