I strongly believe that through all of our fights and struggles, we must reflect on the battles we have faced, analyse how we did, and learn valuable lessons in order to progress. Recently, reflecting on not only my past troubles but the battles I’ve faced has been somewhat reassuring to me – allowing me to understand that with each battle I’ve faced, I’ve been taught something about myself.
This weekend has seen me face up to many situations that I would once consider challenges. I climbed a mountain (OK OK, a big hill) on my own, met with friends in town on two occasions, family meal out, family meal in, drove (minimally) in situations I would usually avoid like the plague and have generally been what I would consider my old self. The part that surprised me, was that these things didn’t seem like challenges at all. Amongst all of these things, only one event made me sit up and say “I’m anxious about doing this”, and with that came the symptoms we anxious folk know all too well; the sickness, leg tremors, hot sweats, overthinking and the faster breathing. Yet amongst even this episode, I was very capable of talking myself out of it, and enjoying it so much to the point I wanted to continue with the event even longer than I could.
Now I don’t for one minute think I’m cured. I’m certainly not anxiety free and I stand with all of you as a sufferer, but by analysing my behaviour, I’m able to see not only the difference my approach to facing up to anxiety is having, but how far I’m coming every single day. In fact, I turned to my girlfriend and said “Imagine me doing this 2 years ago” to which she replied “We didn’t do anything 2 years ago, it’s incredible”. What is amazing to me is that I’m suddenly feeling the old me smashing through the brick wall that anxiety built around me. The stubborn old me, that I referred to in my first post, is fighting to the front through all anxious thoughts and feelings with defiance to take back whatever he lost to anxiety way back when.
A little over 4 years ago I met my girlfriend, which in turn was the beginning of my anxiety journey (she wasn’t the cause, just bad timing on her part for meeting me then…) and since then I’ve flown so high I could touch the clouds, and been so low I could barely lift my head, yet through it all I’m here today writing a post about how I’m in control of my anxiety. Granted, not complete control, but I’m in the middle of rock bottom and sky high, and to feel this comfortable is pretty splendid for me.
As I write this, I understand people will probably be in the rock bottom place I once was, with absolutely no hope in their soul that things will ever get better. I also understand that people will be flying so high that my post will seem irrelevant (you still read it though, ha!). What I will say is, don’t be scared to reflect. If you are rock bottom, look back at what changed, where things went wrong, and allow yourself to learn. By learning, we have all of the information we need to put things right, so eventually you’ll look back and think “Bloody hell, that anxiety warrior is good! He was spot on!”…
…or something like that.