I gave myself a challenge to make a new post every week. Clearly, you can see I have not achieved that goal. I am perfectly fine with that, however.
We live, we learn, we change, we progress.
I have been wanting to write. I find it calming and relaxing, and promoting family life education is something I truly enjoy working on. Here at Practical Dysfunction, we like to keep our information realistic and relate-able. Today, my post will be brutally realistic, hopefully relate-able, and something I am definitely passionate (not always in a good way) about.
When I started cracking down on my CFLE career, I made a post about my personal struggles with anxiety and other mental barriers that so lovingly began to affect my day to day life. (Click HERE to read) Here we go with an update.
In the past few weeks, my family relocated to a new city. I left a crummy apartment where so many mental and emotional instabilities were triggered, but I also left a safety net of some friends, environments, and an awesome therapist.
As soon as we had our house unpacked, I was ready to make this new chapter in my life as close to the one I had just left (all the good parts, at least). SHOCKINGLY, that isn’t really possible. The gyms I went to weren’t what I had grown to love, I could not find a preschool program for my outgoing little 4 year old, and even the grocery stores are all messed up and mixed around or missing some of my favorite items. What the hell?!?
It wasn’t until we went to our first church activity that the root of my anxiety decided to rear it’s ugly head. We figured we would go to this activity to start mingling and meeting people so that church might go a little smoother if we were at least familiar with some faces. We pulled into the parking lot, and the un-realistic but very relate-able voice in my head started popping out some thoughts.
No one is going to like you.
They will think your hair is dumb.
What if my kid has a temper tantrum? No one will take me serious as a Family Life Educator.
I won’t ever make any new friends.
I will never be comfortable.
I am alone. I am not good enough.
And there it was. Those two horrible statements have been the core of my anxiety/panic/depression/phobia disorders. (therapy helped get that one pinned down.) Those two thoughts have brought me more emotional and mental turmoil than I could ever express, and here it was again. I went in to the church, and was quiet but tried to reach out. I am seriously a pretty outgoing, friendly, borderline obnoxious person. These kinds of gatherings are my thing. But here, I was so scared every time someone passed my table. I could not eat. I could not look around and kept myself distracted helping my children eat their hot dog buns (yes, just the bun). I wanted to get up and walk around, and it became too much. I excused myself to go out and get some relaxing deep breaths in. Instead, I sat in my car. Trembling, crying, alone.
I am not saying this to get sympathy. I know it sounds sad and kind of pitiful or dramatic sometimes, but that is how my mental struggles work. And though it may seem dumb to someone, it is very real to me.
On the way home, I talked to my husband about how I am not my anxiety. I am not that person. I will keep trying. We went to church the next day and thankfully it went much better. I kept my hands tightly folded under my armpits to hide the involuntary panic tremors from everyone, but I made it through. Sometimes in those moments, I can’t make it through. Sometimes it gets much worse. Sometimes it goes away or can be controlled. At some point though, it will always end.
I am getting to the point, I swear.
Then there is the choices that come to follow an emotional meltdown/panic attack/depressive episode/etc. Where to go from here? Last year, I had to finally make the choice to get professional help. Another time, I made a choice to avoid certain areas. It could even be to avoid certain people. The point is, that we always have to get back up again.
No matter what unexpected, unpleasant, or life changing things may come our way, there is always help. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Here I am, ready to push myself and destroy this new chapter of my life. I am ready to GO. Go find a gym that fits my needs, go find some new friends for my kids and I, go find a grocery store that actually carries PB2 when I need it for my smoothies. I hope this inspired you to GO too! Dang it, now I sound like a super cheesy motivational blog post.
Even if I am post-less for a few weeks, I will still be around making bad jokes and pushing out some Family Life Education for you all to share and enjoy.
How is that for realistic and relate-able? Stay tuned for more mess from Practical Dysfunction!