It has been an absolutely intense week. Panic attacks and anxiety reared their heads again. Life was messy and hard. Insomnia has been visiting. It has felt like the perfect storm.
When I had an anxiety attack on Friday, I was immediately transported back to the beginning of this hard journey–of myself, sitting on the bathroom floor, seeing no end to this feeling of uncontrollable panic and fear. It hit me like a train, as it does, and I immediately felt a sense of grief and fear and despair. I didn’t want to be back there.
But, there are some differences this time around. This time around, I know my support systems. I know some coping skills. I know which tools work and which tools I can use.
Did it make it all disappear? Unfortunately, no. I had to ride out a very long, very hard week. I was in very frequent touch with my therapist. I had to take anti-anxiety medication. I cried–a lot. I self-isolated. I couldn’t eat.
But, I also survived.
Everyone says that growth is painful–and it is. Growth takes so much.
It takes strength–strength to get up some days. Strength to continue to work through all of the muck that has accumulated over my almost 30 years.
It takes courage–courage to share and say the things that are hard and scary. Courage to be vulnerable. Courage to ask for help and receive it. Courage to take care of myself.
It takes belief–belief that there is another side. Belief that I will be okay. Belief that it is safe to share and ask for help.
It takes heart and it takes soul.
This week, I had to be strong and brave and believe in myself. I had to acknowledge my emotions and share my feelings–as hard as they are.
And, I did it. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t perfect. I probably could have done more. But I gave myself a voice. For the first time in…well, maybe EVER, I am giving myself permission to say what I feel. To feel what I feel.
And, that is kind of a big deal.
That, is growth.