In the last three weeks I have welcomed a change in perspective.
I have realized that who I am is up to me. I define myself. My worth.
No one else. If you have always had this healthy mindset, you might be thinking…Well, duh. I, however, have not been blessed with this realization until a few weeks ago. Cognitively, I may have really wanted to believe it. But, my brain–my body–did not.
I have suffered from panic and anxiety this year in a way that I did not know was possible. The thing about panic is that, when it is gone, it feels far away and foreign. But when it returns, it returns with a vengeance and encircles me like a heavy, dark cloud. Fear nudges its way in, and I find myself weighed down, struggling to move, fighting my head–my heart.
The fear begins to spiral–first, there is a thought–How will I ever be able to (insert activity here)?. Then, What if I have a panic attack there? And, I was so stupid to think I could be normal. And, the fear: Why does it come back? I will never get this under control.
It is fear.
It is the fear of not being in control. In control of my own body.
It is the fear of what others might think.
It is the fear of being sick.
It is the fear of being trapped, stuck.
It is the fear of losing the life I have envisioned to a horrible thing called anxiety. Of being a person that I don’t want to be…ashamed of needing help, of being messy, of being…here.
But, HOPE is greater than fear.
I have hope that I can conquer this fear.
So, when I was hit by a round of anxiety and my stomach began to hurt (ahh, the lovely cycle), panic began to creep in.
Here it was, that heavy, dark cloud, sitting on my chest. 5:30 am. Dark.
I snuck down to the couch, shaking my leg like crazy, trying to channel the nervous energy out of my body.
I am okay. It is okay to have a bad day. One bad day does not cancel out how good you have been feeling. It does not mean that you are back at square one.
You. have. grown.
I am at a new point. Yes, the panic is still here. But, in a way, I am able to rise above it and look at it differently. I can look down at it and realize it is a visitor.
…An unwelcome one, yes. But just a visitor. It does not define me.
I do not have to live my life in fear…in fear of the panic. Of the unknown. Of the lack of control.
I can breathe. I can move. I can busy myself. I can acknowledge.
I can feel the fear…and I can let it go.