A few co-workers and I were talking last week. I don’t know how the topic came up but somewhere in our conversation one of them looks at me and tells me that I’m one of the most laid back people she’s known. She takes it a step further and says I am “calming” to be around. I have been thinking about this for days now because had she met me 4 or 5 years ago she would think I was a completely different person. How quickly we can transform and forget our own transformation.
Years ago I suffered from awful anxiety. So much to do, not enough time, everything had to be perfect, so many things could potentially go wrong. This was my thought process. Always afraid of what might happen. Not focused enough on what was happening in that very moment.
I spent months refusing to drive, especially drive anywhere I was not familiar with. An hour long car ride to visit my boyfriend at college would sometimes cause panic attacks. I look back now and it is almost comical, what was that?! ha seems so silly but at that time it was so real.
I remember my worst ever panic attack. I got so worked up that my hands locked up and I couldn’t move them. I sat in front of a mirror convincing myself that something was terribly, terribly wrong, trying somehow to make them move. The panic and hyperventilating had caused my muscles to contract so tightly that they cramped up. It was a good 15 minutes of sheer dread, begging my boyfriend to “fix it PLEASE.” It wasn’t until I calmed down that I could open them back up again
I realize how incredibly far I have come in overcoming my anxiety. Medication was an option that I did not want. This was something I knew I had the power to overcome.
Now as I write this I don’t know the last time I had a panic attack—it has been years. I no longer see impending doom around every corner. I drive wherever I want, whenever I want, even when it is dark! ha.
I am such a big believer in training the mind. The thoughts that you cultivate are the ones that become real—for the good and the bad. I long ago learned to train my mind for the good, living with anxiety is no real way to live and everyday I choose to think of the positive. A choice. I don’t just think good thoughts, I believe them.
Do I experience everyday anxieties like everyone else? sure I do. Do I sometimes find myself falling into a pattern of anxiety, yup! Do I let this rule my life? No, not anymore. I realize that unlike so many things, this is something that is within my own control & I am the happiest I have ever been. That’s it.