After taking some time to relax after my anxiety induced leave of absence I am slowly making my return to the world. Five weeks ago it felt like I was being torn apart at the seams and nothing was ever going to feel normal again…now…normal is becoming the norm. Many of my subscribers thought my bout with anxiety was brought on when I found out I was going to be a father again, this (sorry to kill the drama) is not the case. I found out about the pregnancy long after the initial anxiety attack. My anxiety was brought on by a lifetime of not addressing it, and like ignoring hard-boiled eggs in the pot I boiled over and popped. A little vacation, friends, family, and a support team helped turn the heat down so I could get myself under control and piece myself together…and it is all working.
My first great realization was that I was waiting for my anxiety to go away…waiting it out like a storm. It doesn’t work like that when you have anxiety about the possibility of having anxiety. It’s a cycle and YOU are the only person that can get yourself out of a cycle. Your support team can help, maybe show you the way, but you have to take the steps. Which I have been doing…and I am very surprised to see that the road ahead of me (while long) is not as bumpy as I feared it would be.
The past is depression, the future only fantasy, and we have to live in the now. How do I feel right now? Almost normal.
Flying home was rough as I was afraid that I would revert back to my high levels of anxiety…but that was looking into the future…fantasy. Once back I missed my family and vacation schedule…but that was the past…depression. Once home I realized, “its good to be home.” I took it easy, worked from home for a few days, spent time with Max and Kate, and today I donned slacks and a tucked in shirt for the first time in over a month. I hopped into the car I was so afraid to drive…and drove to my office this morning. Admittedly it was rough at times…but only when I thought about what was fantasy.
Once at my office I promptly shut myself into my one-windowed room with a desk, paused, and cried. That was the past creeping up on me. Then I pulled myself into the now, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work. I can’t believe was at my desk working and feeling as good as I did. Five weeks ago I thought it would be months before I was able to do this. Fantasy. I always thought fantasies involved tropical beaches, sunshine, and happy things…it never donned on me that an anxious mind only fantasizes about the worst possible outcome.
I was (and still am) very nervous to blog about this…because some of my readers are people I interact with on a daily basis…some I work with. For those of you in Europe, Australia, Asia, and beyond that write in…its easy to write out my problems…I don’t personally know 99% of my readers. It’s the 1% I do know. What has been amazing is how many of the 1% have come forward and told me about their battle with anxiety, panic attacks, and social fears. It’s amazing how much this affects us all. We were built to be out scavenging for food, building things, and working with our hands…not sitting in leather chairs engaging nothing but our typing fingers, eyes, and ears. It reduces us to being just a brain. That’s why its important to work out, swim, play, take your shoes off, and remind yourself of who you are. So for you 99% out there; if you are suffering from anxiety, going through crisis, or feel like nothing will ever be the same again…its okay. Whatever has happened is in the past and whatever will happen is in the future. Focus on now. You will be okay, you just have to believe in yourself and know when you need to ask for help…and don’t be ashamed. The other 1%; thank you for being my help and support, sharing your stories with me, and never judging me.
I have a new motto I am living my life by in these times:
“I’d rather try and fail than fail to try.”
I’m failing at nothing right now. Thank you for your support.