Mind & Body - My Journey

This blog is going to be a little different then what I usually post... if it's not what you were expecting I'm sorry but I really felt that I this post was something I really needed... well wanted to share. Warning, things are about to get deep.

To begin, I have anxiety... like really... and I'm medicated. I was always a nervous child, working myself sick the day before a new school year started, biting my nails raw for worry of getting a B in class and excluding myself from activities for fear of the great what if? I always chalked it up to how I was and did my best to hide all that I did and my little rituals I had to keep my anxiety in check. That was until I graduated college and couldn't really hide them from the eyes of my discerning mom. She questioned me many times and tried to get me to talk to my doctor but I refused saying I was fine. Then I had a panic attack while trying to re-learn how to drive...and things clicked... This isn't normal, I wasn't fine and I finally opened my book of "crazy" and let my mom have a peek. I had never told her before about my irrational fears... like of the hour 3 am or how I refused to look in a  mirror when leaving a dark room... I used to think I was just superstitious... but deep down I knew I wasn't... I would shake compulsively in stress about the simplest everyday things. Goodness I could barely keep my hands still while filling out the paper work at my doctors.
I told her what was going on and she said ok so here's how we will begin to manage it. I was nervous, since I have never been one to like taking more medication then I needed... but it became apparent that this was needed. The only way I can explain it is picture a blanket over your head... heavy and weighing on your neck and shoulders. You can make out the images before you but they are fuzzy and clouded... Now pull it off and look around you, take in the colors, the freeness you now feel... that was what it was like for me... I finally felt like I could be the bright person I always knew I was deep down. Not all people need this kind of help... I did.

This whole ordeal led to a sort of awakening for me. I learned that I love to drive, wear bright colors, and that I was indeed quite a people person. I also started learning new normal ways to cope with stress that were normal... i.e. hiding in your room and sleeping ... A LOT... is not normal. I occasionally do yoga, artistic outlets like painting, and playing video games are among my favorites. The one souvenir from the time before that I seemed to refuse to let go of was stress eating.  I would pick at food and find a snack just because I wanted to focus on something other then what I was worried about at the time... or boredom... one of the two. I would look at strong women like Grace Helbig who talk about stress running or friends who would go to the gym to work though a problem...

... I would look at these woman while sitting at my desk with a bag of chips wanting to be like them...

Then it clicked why can't I. I've done all this work my medicine helps me have to tools to do so so why wasn't I.  That's when the stars aligned and the angels began to sing... not really... but my Mom did find a rowing machine at a yard sale for $10! (mind you the same price I had been paying per month for a gym membership I wasn't using) I had always wanted to row... It's a full body work-out and seemed like so much fun so when I finally had my grubby little paws on a machine that allowed me to do this from my own home I did a happy dance!

I am now on my way to channeling my stress into activity! I plug in my headphones and row away! The other day I even moved my machine outside, I just closed my eyes and instantly I was transported to a relaxing river! I am now even tossing around the idea of renting a boat every now and again! This new practice is clearing my mind in so many ways! It even broke me through a bit of a creative rut I was having! I have now added this to a circuit of exercises that I do and I even added a stepper (found that at the flea market) How's that for working out on a budget! Ha!