Hello and welcome to another edition of #TransparentTuesday! During #TransparentTuesday, we remove the rosy filters of social media and share real life.
Today is actually #WorldMentalHealthDay, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
My first therapist visit happened when I was 10. My first suicidal thoughts started when I was 14. I've been in treatment for anxiety and depression consistently since I was 16. My treatment for binge eating disorder (BED) started in my 20s. None of these things are anything to be ashamed about, and the more we talk about it, the reduced stigma and increased awareness and availability of treatment options. I have more about some of my mental health journey in this older post. I'm thankful that I was able to find a balance of medication and therapy that helps me manage these conditions, and I hope that if you're struggling, you will be able to find the same. If you need help, you can find resources from the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) here.
Today's post talks a little bit about recent anxiety, but also just a general update and thoughts from this week!
The more stressful life becomes, the more anxious I feel. The height of my anxiety came when I was dealing with my mom when she was sick. Trying to advocate for her care, dealing with transportation (she was immobile), loss of communication, getting Medicaid… it was all so much. It shocked me, really, realizing how unprepared I was. Not that anyone can really be prepared for those sorts of situations. But even years after her death, I've lived with a heightened sense of anxiety. The divorce threw my anxiety into another gear as it's not something that ever really entered my mind. Thankfully, time and treatment has healed a lot of things.
One of the ways I've managed my anxiety is to think several steps ahead, imagining worst case outcomes and preparing myself for those. That's a double edged sword. On one hand, I'm rarely bowled over with surprise if something bad happens. On the other, it means my mind is always on high alert, always looking for the next problem and trying to solve it before it's even happened. In most cases, the things in my mind never materialize – they're non-starters. And yet, I've spent so much energy on them. SO MUCH ENERGY. My mind never stops.
This entire year has been ultra stressful with renovating a house, selling 2 houses, and buying another. These are big financial decisions, big personal decisions (cohabitation in a new city?!), and come with a lot of variables. I focused a lot on the stress and not on the joy of the end result. Or the fun working on projects with Steve. I was always thinking about 500 things that could go wrong in the long process we were facing. Steve even told me: “Stop lawyering everything already!” I guess I was a little obsessive about all the paperwork 😂
Now, in a speed much faster than I ever imagined, we're all moved into the new house. We've been busy unpacking and breaking down boxes and trying to figure out where to put things. But last night I had a second to breathe and wanted to write something down. It went on Instagram, and I am blown away at the response. Seriously, so humbled that people are so kind as to root me on. 😍
Feeling quite sappy, so sharing my #mcm❤️⠀
As I was falling asleep last night in our new home, I was a bit overwhelmed. It was the first time I felt like I had a second to reflect on how far we've come in a short amount of time. We knew in January that we wanted to live together, but we had 2 homes in 2 cities, and they weren't spit-shine ready for the market. We spent weekends changing light fixtures, tossing out years of junk, painting, and more. There were spats. There was frustration. (I'm #TeamImpatient) I had doubts that we would get everything done. At points, I wanted to give up and just stay in MY house with MY things and just continue driving the distance between us. But then, the thought of that would snap me back into reality – I wanted a life with this man.⠀
One of the best parts about him? He NEVER doubted what we could do. He NEVER doubted that these were the right decisions. Or at least he won't admit it, and acts baffled when I say I wasn't sure we'd get here.⠀
But we're here. We made it faster than I expected. All of the boxes have been unpacked and we're settling into our new home. Establishing new routines together.⠀
I'm not good at enjoying things without thinking of the next obstacle. I don't sit in my own joy. But, I'm working on it, and he's helping me. ❤️
Dress by @kiyonnacurves, 📸@emilymoseleyphoto
I think this is a big goal for me for the remainder of the year. Sit in my own joy. Be happy. Take a moment, or many, to admit I'm happy and that things are good. To give myself a high five for happy things.
Even late last week, despite having been in the house for over a week and having made progress on unpacking, I was starting to get anxious about making furniture fit, or how to decorate so it looked perfect, and how quickly we could get it done.
I'm working on giving myself a time out from that anxiety. There is no reason everything has to be perfect right.this.second.damnit! We're here! We made it! We still love each other! We love our house! Things are calming down! I can have more time for fun things! WOO.
OK, so that's a lot of exclamation points. But why not, you know?
So tell me: do you have a hard time celebrating the good things? If not, how do you do it? How do you stay mindful and positive? Looking forward to hearing so I can practice rolling around in this JOY!