I feel so very blessed every day to have such an amazing man in my life. I am always blown away when I think about the fact that we met at the age of 16, started our relationship together, and here we are 10+ years later still happily in love. I won’t sit and pretend that we didn’t have fights or hardships, I mean when you’re a teenager isn’t everything just a bit dramatic? Maybe not necessarily, but our brains were still very much under-developed and my emotional control was, well, much less controlled. I’m so thankful that he has stayed with me through my mental struggles and has never once made me feel like a burden. He is so patient with me and always makes me feel so loved, and for that I am forever grateful.
I remember moving out together at age 19- I had finally been able to escape my chaotic childhood home and be out on my own under my own rules. Little did I know that this would only exacerbate my anxiety at the time, as well as my depression. I’d sit and cry about how I had everything that I wanted, yet I felt like my brain was on fire, yet completely numb all at the same time. I was so upset that I didn’t feel “happy.” I’d tell my boyfriend how much I loved him and I loved our life together, all of which was 100% true, but that I still felt sad and almost empty or un-fulfilled. I just could not understand why I was feeling so empty and why I couldn’t just be happy there in those important moments of my life.
Now after many years of therapy (and ongoing therapy), I know that it is because my nervous system was used to being in a certain state, and now that I no longer was in an environment to keep it stimulated in that way, my brain was finding other ways to it. I could not sit still and relax. Period. I always felt the need to be doing something, and if I knew something needed to be done, it needed to be done right away. I always felt like I was racing the clock; I couldn’t even allow myself to just lay in bed or relax on the weekends. I always felt stressed and rushed, and I also felt like I was just doing this to myself which only made me angrier and hate myself and my brain more. If I did allow myself to physically relax, then my brain would just start going; how can you sit here when you could be doing x, y, and/or z? Why aren’t you doing this, that or the other thing? But why? I finally was in a space where I could control what would happen around me…but that control became obsessive.
Honestly, I am still learning how to deal with my anxiety and control issues; I see my therapist every 3-4 weeks and am actively trying to re-wire my brain with better habits. I have come a long way from where I was when I was 19, and again I feel so blessed that my boyfriend has been with me through all of this. When my anxiety was at its worst, I was so irritable and angry all the time and I took it out on him, because he was the only one around. I didn’t want to be mean to him, and then I’d feel guilty and sad about it because I was hurting the person who was sitting here loving and caring about me. I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore, and that was when I reached out and started my long journey of seeing therapists and trying different medications that got me where I am today: unmedicated and still actively going to therapy. I no longer feel constantly irritable or like I am running out of time, and I take time to sit and appreciate everything around me.
I am so proud of where I am now compared to seven years ago. I am so proud of where I am from when I started this blog compared to now. My goal with this blog was to learn how to love myself, and I truly feel that I have learned how to do that. There is still so much work to do, but it doesn’t feel so overwhelming anymore… it actually is kind of fun! I am going to continue on this journey so that I can develop more healthy habits, learn more about myself and my brain, and hopefully make myself better so that I am less likely to pass on my traumas to my future children. To anyone reading who feels super anxious or overwhelmed with life, just know that it can be a long journey, but it is a worthwhile journey. You deserve to take care of yourself and understand yourself.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!