After the loss of my mother the places my mind went I hate to remember. The anxiety was always there even when I was a child but the years after my mom died my mind was drowning in it. I lived in sheer fear. Nobody knew it. I hid it. Just like I hid my fertility struggles, like I hid the two horrific infections of cdiff and that wrongly diagnosed cyst that was really an abscess that consumed my ovary, attached to my colon, caused my intestines to shut down and was leaking gang green inside of me during my pregnancy. I was just used to hiding how I felt. Just like I hid my gut wrenching pain during the years my mom battled for her life. I never wanted my mom to have to worry about me after the cancer came back. From that point on I guess I just got used to hiding.
My life started feeling like a constant game of Russian roulette. I felt convinced if I did anything at all that wasn’t exactly how it was supposed to be I would be unable to handle the outcome. It was a life of what if this or what if that. What if I forgot to lock the garage door someone could come in and hurt me and my family. If I forgot to unplug the blender maybe my infant child would somehow knock it over and get hurt by the blade. If I was not careful enough I could lose something I loved again. And that was beyond more than I could handle. I lived in fear. In invisible handcuffs put on by myself. I felt like a shell of human as if I would crack down the middle and break. Its hard to explain the feeling to someone who does not feel intense anxiety and panic like this. The fear of it being all my fault. The fear of if my mom got a cold from me and died it would be my fault. Not the cancer no but me. That is how my brain was wired. When I had my first child that fear of a newborn having a “weaker immune system” came surging back. I was told its cold and flu season keep your child away from people. Do you know what someone like me with anxiety did with that information. I wouldn’t let anyone hold or touch my child for a solid 8 weeks. Family that came over I made every person wash their hands. If I saw them, b/c god knows I was watching, touch their mouth or nose back to the sink I would send them. I had people wear clean shirts over so I felt they didn’t have germs on them. I basically had a freaking phD on how not to pass along germs after my mom's stem cell transplant! I drove myself nuts. I literally had the fear of god in me and all I knew is what my pediatrician at the time told me of a "weaker immune system". I took that advice and ran with it. Team that with me getting CDiff when my baby was 2.5 months old and it not going away…..and my mind was ready to freaking explode!
Nobody came in from the heavens to save me but me. …I wanted to see the light of sun again. It has to come from within. That is life. If you want to see something different in the mirror staring back at you then you need to make that change. (wow, I'm sounding like Michael Jackson here). I wanted to escape the clouds that my mind lived in. I got stronger, mentally, and physically. I knew that life could be better. That I didn’t have to live in a place where my mind told me others opinions matter more than my own. A place where my fear of not being perfect paralyzed me. I knew it existed because I saw this place in my husbands eyes every single day. A place of hope. A place of possibilities, a place where if you make a mistake its ok. He isn't perfect god knows he is the loudest sleeper on earth but he is perfect for me. We are as ying and yang as it gets. I wanted to live in that world too. He is happy. He doesn't let perfect get in the way of good enough. A world where he can trust in a dream and go out and conquer it. A world where he set the bar so high and so crazy that nobody could have listened to him. Yet day by day I watched him take strides and accomplish the impossible. It did not happen over night. It took years. I wrote about it in my other blog but it still blows my mind. 12 employees to 2300. Not ranked in the top 500 to being ranked number 1 for three years in a row. I know the impossible is possible. I'm going to tell you how I found that place. How I got my brain out of the darkness. He could not have found that place for me. It was mine to find on my own. It had to be me.
How did I do it because I did. I moved on from the fear of failure. I moved on from that abscess that nearly killed me and my daughter during my pregnancy when those negligent doctor didn’t listen to me. I moved on from a bacteria infection in my colon that depleted my body of nutrients. I did the stool transplant that I said I would never do. I moved on from the fear of disease. I moved on from the fear of an infection never going away and killing me, I moved on from counting down the days until that same cancer that killed my mom comes for me. I moved on with life. I chose life. I choose to focus on infinite possibilities instead of infinite unraveling fears. I made my legs go into therapy for 10 years. I drove myself there on days I didn’t feel like going. On days I didn’t want to hear anyone else's opinion or even my own. I did that. Nobody but me. I knew what I needed to get better to feel better. I knew if I just kept moving in the direction of doing things to find balance again and feel better I would eventually find it. Nothing was easy. No cure worked over night. I took that anti anxiety medication. I took it when I hated chemical. When I hated pills. I took it after years of telling my therapist I won't ever take that. I took it because I couldn’t live in the mind I was living in. Nothing alone would have made me better. I tried just years of just therapy. Just therapy and acupuncture. Then therapy, yoga therapy, and acupuncture. Therapy, acupuncture, exercise, and anti anxiety meds. All these things combined day after day until I found the right balance that worked for me and got me to where I am. This forced me to learn patience and perseverance. I too kept my eyes on the prize. I wanted to be in the world where my husbands mind set lives. I found it. It took years. But I never gave up on myself. NEVER! I wanted to be that person for me and for my family. So I could be the rock I am today. Don't get me wrong. Things still creep in but definitely not as frequently. I still have my moments where things start to pile up but I have ways of dealing much better.
Today I feel like a fearless mother f*cker that won’t back down from anything!
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