On April 27th, I lost my father. It’s a deep sadness that I’ve only experienced once before when my grandmother passed, but this feels heavier and more profound. I always knew my father’s time was limited and his passing would come. I didn’t expect it to be so sudden.
Besides family, Christmas, and time off from work/school, I love this time to curl up in front of the tree and write. Christmastime always gifts me with creativity. It’s often the last of the year rush to get more words released like I’m making up for procrastination days or, in this case, writing days lost to COVID. It could be simply the warmth of the house from all the decorations. Whatever it is, I have a fountain of creativity flowing, and each year, I am more determined not to let the busyness of work and life take precedence over my writing.
As I regain my health, I am more aware of just how much I NEED my writing to become more than a hobby; therefore, I choose my life’s purpose over “getting by.” After all, whatever makes you happy is not a waste of time.
Building a mental health toolbox requires understanding how and why anxiety happens in the body. I recently learned about “leaning” into the pain and accepting that my body is sounding an alarm. It’s crying for attention. All the old habits and the physical pain stored deep in our cells comes to the surface in the form of anxiety and panic. My journey is not over; just my medical leave is over. And without ruminating about what “might be” or “could be” in the future, which is not real because it hasn’t happened yet, I am learning to be present, and I’m learning to be a defender of my mental and physical health first, even if that means redefining my life.
Breaking cycles is hard work. Anytime we decide to change, we must go through growing pains before the transformation can happen. This transformation process will leave you physically, emotionally, and spiritually spent. But, be confident and know that you are doing the work many refuse to do. Why? Because, peace begins with you.
Hell, most of the time I was never tall enough to ride the rollercoasters, but I did try a few and it was enough to know that it wasn’t for me. Right now in my life, this journey of battling anxiety with panic disorder is one big rollercoaster ride and I want off.
The healing process is a tug of war with my ego. My body and mind have been on a steady decline of brokenness and my ego kept me going for all the wrong reasons. So while the breakdown was slow, my ego expects a quick fix. Relearning how to be in rest is challenging but for a nervous system that is on hyperdrive, rest is necessary.