A confession in my therapists chair.
It was May and I remember staring at a box of milk in a tiny grocery store thinking, I am going to be this way forever. I am going to be this girl ridden with anxiety, always on the verge of panic attacks for the rest of my life.
Prior to this moment, Jared and I had started our first year of us both working for ourselves. We decided to move to North Georgia where we lived on 16 acres and made friends with barn cats and learned how to shoot bow and arrows.
It sounds romantic.. right?
It was romantic for the first month. Then it started.
Racing thoughts, tremors, panic attacks, and then talking myself into a calm state morning, afternoon, and night.
I was antsy and not ok with just being still. Moving to the country and living a slow paced life made that very apparent.
There were a few things that triggered this and one of them was contentment. Being ok with the here and now. Being ok with silence. Alone in my thoughts. The loud city lights and noises turned into crickets and dark nights.
When you deal with anxiety attacks you don’t talk about it because you are scared someone is going to think you are crazy. You try to handle them by yourself and by handling them by yourself, you just suffer alone and believe that anxious state is your life.
So I decided maybe I should see a professional. I had always heard negative things about therapists and never really wanted to see one. I thought, if I am going to talk to someone it should be my husband, mom, dad, or sisters… not a stranger.
It was the end of June and I decided I should go. I should talk to someone that has no clue who I am or where I came from. I googled counselors, texted people about recommendations and found a place that I would give a shot.
My first session I sat there in silence and full of self-doubt. I remember thinking, this is a mistake. She can’t help me.. she doesn’t know me.
I can tell you three sessions in I started changing, because I wanted to change. The therapist was part of the solution but the other part was me. I decided to just talk out every thought I had. Scary or irrational, she knew them. What did I have to lose? In my mind, I thought I was going to live 70 years full of panic and anxiety. When I thought through that lens, the idea of opening up to a stranger about my thoughts and struggles didn’t seem so scary anymore.
When I faced my triggers I became more confident because I was brave. I was courageous to say enough is enough! I will not live this way and I will find a solution. I will get to the root.
Here I am 2 years later and I now know my body and brain better. My counselor taught me my triggers, she taught me how to think through a panic attack, she taught me to take care of myself and fight for a healthy life. I am going through years of behavioral habits that need rewiring, but I know the fight is worth it.
I am not just fighting for myself, I am fighting for my relationships and the people that I want to impact.