"If you're going through hell, keep going."
- Winston Churchill
So I sit here alone…on my bed…sobbing.
But this is just a rough day.
I tell myself again that I've got this. I can do this.
I am doing this.
The thing is…it doesn't just go away. This anxiety…this feeling like my heart is racing...that I can't catch my breath…that it is all too overwhelming…that I'm going to lose my lunch…it still pops up out of nowhere.
I am learning not to panic when this happens. It doesn't always work but I've become much better at it.
Being anxious about being anxious is probably one of my biggest challenges. When I start to feel anxiety coming on, I have to use my tools to calm down and get the snowball rolling in the right direction, as it were. If I don't…the feeling can get easily carried away and I usually feel much worse. Ya know…that whole self fulfilling prophesy deal.
So I'm trying to breathe. Slowly. Slow down. Everything is gonna be OK. You're gonna get through this. You're strong. You're a warrior. You're a survivor.
I'm a survivor (what), I'm not gon' give up (what)
I'm not gon' stop (what), I'm gon' work harder…
Sorry - I digress.
(Now I can't get that frickin' Destiny's Child song outta my head - but that is the least of my problems).
I remind myself that I have gotten through times like this a million times over with a 100% success rate.
In case you're like me and are not a math wizard…100% is a pretty damn good number.
I'm still here. I'm still breathing…I'm still wagon-training.
I have to keep on keeping on.
And I'm fighting mad.
But that's OK. It's OK that I feel mad sometimes. This is not easy shit. Trying not to let my anxiety get away from me takes one part focus, one part distraction and a little luck doesn't hurt.
I went back to work last week.
And a lot of people have been encouraging and supportive and want to know how it went.
Well…all in all, I'm happy. It felt so good to be back. I did have some anxiety about returning after two years away from the office, but I went in for three mornings and I felt good.
I felt ready.
I felt determined.
But this week…I came upon today…and today was a more difficult day.
I woke up really anxious. Something new? No.
Was it about work? Not really.
I often don't know what my triggers are.
But it continued - despite my best efforts.
I went to work. I kept it in. I focused on the job at hand. I did what I needed to do. I focused on my work and distracted myself with all that I need to re-learn to perform my job.
I got through my morning at the office without any spinning. I kept it together.
And that is something to be celebrated.
But I got in the car to leave and my stomach was turning.
Then I got home and ate a healthy lunch - a chicken salad - knowing that I needed to get something into my stomach besides the butterflies.
Just in time to lose it all.
Yeah…I got sick.
Now I'm writing a blog post to try and divert my energy and attention to something other than my anxiety.
And I'm slowly calming down.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I know I sort of sound like a broken record talking about my struggle…but that is part of it…the fact that it IS a struggle and that I DO feel like I'm on a merry-go-round sometimes.
Life isn't perfect and I'm no exception.
It is all part and parcel to my recovery. Because my condition is chronic…I am probably not going to just "get better".
But it probably won't ever be totally gone.
And I need to continue to embrace this fact because you can't do anything about things you don't acknowledge.
Day by day…sometimes hour by hour….sometimes minute by minute…I have to keep going.
And I get tired. I get so damn tired of the fight.
But I am determined.
I will continue and I will prevail.
One day...one moment…sometimes even one second at a time.
I'll keep ya posted.