Growth Shows Up At The Strangest Times in the Strangest Ways

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bridge to growthI have a severe chronic anxiety disorder.

I was diagnosed a couple of years ago when they sent me through all this testing for ADD, which I also have.

If you’re in my close circle, you probably know this but I haven’t told a lot of people.

Sometimes, I’m embarrassed by it.  I feel like I have all these tools and shouldn’t experience anxiety ever.  I know that’s not true now.  The tools help me get through but our bodies are geared to experience stress and anxiety a specific way so there is a natural element to feeling.   My issue is it’s a greater challenge to come out of that state.  I think there are several factors that contribute to my anxiety.  I did try medication for a while but just didn’t find it to be that helpful and knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being medicated.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that choice.  It is just a choice.

I can tell when I have more stress in my life because of some coping mechanisms I notice being more prominent.  They seem silly and irrational and, yet, they feel so real.

My fear of heights gets worse.  I have no reason to fear them.  It’s not like I’ve ever fallen off a cliff or even come close.

My fear of small spaces gets worse.  Never been trapped in a pipe or anything similar.

My fear of bridges gets worse.  I don’t think I could grasp the wheel any tighter and I’m not even sure how that would help me if a problem actually came up.

My need for knowing is the worst.  If I’m making plans, I need the deets NOW.  Not having them is really stressful.  If I’m going somewhere, I need to know how to get there (at least have the directions printed out).  I need to know what parking will be like.  I need to know what to expect when I arrive.  You get the picture…

The not knowing is just about enough to drive me batty.

When I feel these issues becoming more prevalent for me, I know I have more stress than normal in my life.  It’s not always bad stress but it is some type of stress.  Any kind of stress and I find that things work best when I’m in a state of knowing.

Sometimes it bothers me.  Like last month when I was asked about having a preference of eating indoors or out at a restaurant.  I’m always going to pick indoors.  Waaaay too many variables that can ruin a meal to sit outside for me UNLESS I’ve already scoped them out and eliminated several of them.  I’ve rarely sat outside and enjoyed it at a restaurant.  I’m just too picky and the variables are too stressful.  Traffic loud? smelly?  Stop light near by where people will be sitting and staring?  Too hot?  Too cold?  Too windy?  Buggy out?  Are the chairs comfortable?  What are they made of?  Will I have to squint in the sun and end up with a headache?  I could go on but you get the picture.  Someone asked my why I didn’t like to eat outside and I kind of froze and just said, “lots of reasons.” or something like that.  I don’t think they understood.  In fact, I know they didn’t because of their reaction and their being the instigator of a plan for the next month to eat outside.

Does it bother me that I’m this way?  I certainly don’t like living in a state of anxiety when things are going on and I do use the tools I have to manage it.  I hope over time it ge

Fast forward to today.

Funny thing….I started writing this post in September 2012.  That last line above is the last one I wrote before I saved it as a draft and moved on, forgetting it was even here…not even finishing that last sentence.

Today, I was going through some of my old drafts to see what could be cleaned up, removed, etc. and I came across this one.  I can’t remember the last time I even noticed I was driving over a bridge, or in a small space and I actually just updated my outdoor furniture at home to include a table and chairs we can eat at.  Outside. 

My first reaction was to delete this post…it’s old and isn’t relevant any longer….BUT it is relevant because it’s such a wonderful reminder of all the work I’ve done and how far I’ve come.  The bridge that gets us from one place to the next along our journey isn’t always clear.  When I started this post, I remember feeling like I’d lived that way for so long it would probably never change and I think that’s why I stopped writing…not even finishing my sentence that was to read “I hope over time it gets better.”  Coming across this post is truly a gift.  What an amazing example of how much we truly can grow if we are willing to do the work it requires.  I’m going to soak this in today.  Celebrate my growth.


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