Sunday, January 2

This was the hardest year. Last time things were this hard, it wasn't about me. Grieving is just as physically awful as anxiety, but there's no "what's wrong with me" question looming over every moment. I've had to take care of other sick people, dying people, but never have I had to face my own mental and physical trouble. And last year at this time I was in the darkest place I hope to ever find myself, and I didn't think I could be released by this new and sudden problem. I never thought I could get better, mostly because I didn't even know what was wrong. It took half a year of therapy, classes, acupuncture and herbs, books, meditation, making big life decisions, and accepting anxiety and panic instead of letting fear control me that got me through it. Every single day was a struggle, but I let people take care of me and I listened.

I never turned this into an anxiety blog, but as I've read more and more fashion or life blogs out there where women are honest about their lives, it inspired me to just come out with it and not shy away from what was really happening. Once I came out of the sadness of living with something I thought would be so restricting, I got angry. I was mad that because anxiety is taboo to talk about, I knew nothing about it, so when I had my first panic attack and I thought I was dying from a heart attack and had to go to the hospital, little did I know that this is common and that there is much that can be done, all you have to do is ask for help.

I worked really hard to get better. I remember nights of working in my anxiety and panic workbook, spinning in circles while J timed me, breathing through a straw, forcing myself to go on BART, riding on crowded busses, all to overcome the new fear that was sitting on my chest. I remember Jessica forcing me to leave the apartment just to walk down the street to show me that I could do it. I remember not eating for weeks ( what, me with no appetite?) Then I went back to work and started my biggest project of every year. Maybe I couldn't go to the classes, but I worked as hard as I could from the office to make my last book. In my last session with my therapist he told me that I beat this fast, some people live with it forever. And I don't take it for granted, I know very well that if I stop taking care of myself or listening to what I really need that this could happen all over again. I know that something happened inside of me, a door opened, and I'm susceptible to anxiety and panic from here on out, but I don't fear it anymore, and I got through the worst, because now I know it doesn't mean the end. This time it led to all sorts of new beginnings.
I haven't developed any photos since I moved ( I don't know of any place to take them so I'm waiting), so these photos are from earlier in the year.
Our old apartment living room, a horse at a fogged in magical day at Green Gulch, and the window I looked out of every day for the past three years.

1 comment:

Cristi said...

Thanks for sharing such intimate thoughts here about your struggle with anxiety. I deeply honor your experience.