Welcome to my journey, I hope you’ll join me in this wild adventure called “life”. I’m a wife and mother, who happens to be a young woman. I’m fairly comfortable with saying that I have never really lived my life for myself, not to mention I’ve never really lived my life AS myself. In reality, I’m just now beginning to find out who I really am.
I’ve dealt with love, depression, anxiety, stress, spirituality, social anxiety and everything else that goes with the gift of life, in large part, by myself for most of my life. I’ve lived, and I’ve learned, but I’ve never truly been myself. Until now.
Where I am currently standing in life, I am ready to be happy for me. I feel that I am finally able to live. At 22 years old, I am tired of feeling defeated by feelings and thinking that my life is spinning out of control with nothing I can do to fix it. The fact is-I am in control. I can control my feelings, my thoughts, and my moods–as long as I have the tools.
Two weeks ago I started seeing a counselor, because I was so tired of just suffering through life. I have so much to be thankful for, but was living life in such a way that I wouldn’t consider it “living” at all. I was tired of sleeping until noon everyday and missing my daughter’s life. I was tired of being scared to talk to people, or feeling like I’m not good enough to talk to my own friends. I was just tired of being tired.
After only two visits with my counselor, I learned so much about myself; the biggest being, that I already know myself very well. She was amazed at how much insight I have into myself. I learned that the changes that I want to make for my life, are already underway. She said that I had already done half her job, by knowing my problems and that I already have tools I need to fix them. The problem was, that I didn’t know how to use those tools.
It took me about six months to be able to see a counselor because I simply couldn’t afford it. I hope that I can be an inspiration to other women who want to help themselves, but can’t find the way, because I know exactly what it’s like. I’ve been there.
The two most profound things that I have learned in the last two weeks, are really quite simple:
- I have value.
- I control me.
While I grew up in a loving, safe family environment, circumstances unfortunately resulted in me being raised being taught that I have no value. It wasn’t intentional on anybodys part. It just happened. As a teenager, I was never good enough, never as good as the girl standing next to me. As an adult, I took the experiences from my past, and believed that I would never be good enough, and would never have value.
It’s only been two weeks, but I can say now that while those thoughts still creep in on occasion, I know that they aren’t true. I know that I have value. Everybody has value. I wasn’t giving myself any credit for all of the things that I was doing. Here I was raising a two-year old, already setting plans into motion concerning her future, being a wife and really working on a marriage and working with my husband to be the best parents that we can be. I was handling all of my families finances by myself, along with being care-taker for my mother in law, while suffering from financial stress, depression, and debilitating social anxiety. My counselor pointed out that not only was I doing (by myself) things that most people don’t even know themselves that they need to be doing, but I was doing it all while fighting against depression, and without giving myself a pat on the back for any of it.
It’s sad to think of how many women (or people in general) are really doing so much more good than they can see. I was one of them. I’m not turning to take pride in everything that I do, but it opened my eyes to see that the “simple” and “insignificant” life that I was living, was worth so much more than I knew.
I had myself convinced that I wasn’t in control. I was fighting depression and anxiety, and they were winning. I felt crushed under them, lost. I was letting these things control my life. I wouldn’t leave the house, because I was afraid I would have to see and talk to people. I was angry, because I let so much bother me. I was constantly anxious because of things that I convinced myself were going to happen. Having frequent panic attacks out of nowhere and not knowing why.
The simple tool that I was given for this, sounded unbelievable when I heard about it. I’ve been using it for a week now, and I can’t remember when I was so calm and happy last. Here it is:
Sound impossible? I thought so. When feeling depressed, or anxious (I’ve even been using it to deter anger and frustration), snap a rubber band on your wrist (which many people have heard before). The rubber band hits the nerves, and for that instant, your brain will get distracted. From there, all you have to do is rationalize.
As my counselor explained this to me, she said it’s not always easy. In fact for most people, it’s a difficult task when they start it. I have been incredibly lucky (again, due to the insight I have into myself) and this has come very easy for me. Here’s an example: If my husband is on a road trip, and he doesn’t answer his cell when I call-I automatically assume he’s dead in a ditch. *snap* No. Rationalize. His battery could be dead. He could be on back roads. No signal. In a meeting. There are SO many, more likely possibilities than the irrational one that first popped into my head.
These are the things that I have been learning. Some people, obviously, will be familiar with them, some people won’t. I have been so excited about this knowledge that I’ve acquired and I’m anxious to be able to share it. If I can share these tips and help one person who has been dealing with things that they thought they couldn’t handle, my blog is worthwhile. I plan to continue updating with stories and breakthroughs and tips/tools as I continue my counseling and life-building. Again, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.