Friday, October 28, 2011

Afraid of Everything

I try to trace back to where it began, why I allowed fear to grasp a hold of me. A fear so suffocating that I was afraid to leave my own home. This thing inside of me blindly guiding me through life, making me miss the little details that add up to the big picture. I stopped wanting to go out to eat with my family, something we often enjoyed doing together. I hate grocery shopping and would make quick stops before or after work to avoid having to do a large trip for everything we needed for the week. I made lists in the hopes that my husband would offer to go for me and unburden me with the feeling that I wouldn't be able to walk all the way through the store without panicking and needing to escape. Even now I have to talk myself into doing things I can easily get out of for fear of the unknown. It's sad, I know. But I can't tell you how or why this was ever a crutch in my existence.

Back in August I had a terrible bout of anxiety and stress due to a few uncontrollable events that literally wore my entire body out. It lasted a few days and finally I decided that this couldn't be my life anymore. I couldn't sit by and literally watch everything fade into the past. I needed to get a hold on what was making me feel this way so I decided that whatever was lying within me was a result of what I was bringing to me with my thoughts and actions. I practiced deep breathing, started a gratitude journal, confided in my husband and friends, used exercise as an outlet, read The Power by Rhonda Byrne, and began my journey to worry free days ahead. Admittedly, this helped out a ton. I had to learn to live in the present and be more patient and list the things I loved rather than what was getting me down. Complaining wasn't even in my vocabulary and I tried my hardest to not let others complain around me. Needless to say I have had some great past few months because of these changes. Not once did I fall victim to my old habits or let outside influences make me feel bad. Then came our much needed vacation...

Out of the past 6 days I have left my home a total of 3 times. Once, to my mom's across the street to get my niece, down to the park to play basketball with Dan and Jaida, and last night's yearly trick or treating event in our neighborhood. This may sound completely idiotic but most of that was due to the food recalls I wrote about earlier in the week. It crippled me with fear that I would fall ill and my entire vacation would be ruined. All week my husband made trips to the grocery store per lists I left on the counter. I was even going to go myself, before Jaida got home from school and instead talked myself out of it, again. Yesterday, I did everything on my mental list leading up to trick or treat with our daughter. I started feeling a little less than perfect. Nauseous and nervous to be exact. This started right after my shower. I chalked it up to my contacts, which I haven't worn all week. I took them out, made dinner, painted Jaida's face and we left to collect candy from the neighborhood houses. It was cold, but I felt fine. Jaida met up with her friend and relieved us to our nice, warm home. I didn't think about the way I was feeling. Instead I got ready and just went. I still felt a little off when we got home but I settled and eventually felt fine the rest of the night until it finally came down to sleeping...

This morning I awoke still tired from not getting a decent night's sleep. I was groggy and instantly irritated that it would effect my entire day. I made my coffee, which wasn't that good, took the dogs out, fed them, and sat down to start my day. As I drank my last drop I pulled out my journal and decided instead to be grateful for this life I am allowed to live. I have an amazing family who is perfectly healthy. We have a nice home in a great neighborhood. We have pets to bring joy and love to us all. Our jobs bring in more than enough money to be able to afford good food and all of life's necessities. We have everything we need and very little stress to worry about. There is absolutely no real reason why I should be feeling any other way than happy to be able to live this wonderful life every day with these amazing people surrounding me. So why would I just sit back while it all passes me by? Who in their right mind would allow something that once felt so real and so scary to envelope their entire being? No one. Except for me, apparently. Aside from trying to focus on the positive I couldn't quite shake this overwhelmingly sad feeling I was having. I broke down a few times this morning just asking myself why. I wanted to hug my husband, cry and tell him exactly how I was feeling, because I haven't been totally open with him about it since our last talk about my obsession with food. Boy, do I have problems or what? I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his body and just allowed the tears to flow. He turned around and asked what was wrong and I cried even more and finally the words started to come out in jagged spurts of questions and rants about myself. There really was no conclusion other than the fact that by letting myself open up to him about what was going on helped to ease my discomfort. My chest eased up and my stomach calmed down. Something about confiding in him in this way unlike how I normally am made part of the problem cease to exist. He doesn't have all the answers but I trust him and know that anything he says is going to be in the best intention for all of us involved, which is far better than seeking out a stranger who charges by the hour, in my personal opinion.

Perhaps you think I'm crazy and maybe I am or is it possible that these so called problems stem from something deeper and are resurfacing as whatever you want to call this thing? All I know is that it's bullshit. Pardon my french. I have always been a strong woman with opinions about everything and willing to try new things in order to not be so bored with life. Where did that go? Is there still a fearless girl living inside this shell I call myself? I suppose I won't know unless I try. What is it they say about facing your fears? Yeah, well I'm about to get to the bottom of it and in the meantime at least I know I'm not battling this thing alone.

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