Monday, April 11, 2016
BEING In The Present
I took a lovely meditation workshop 2 weekends ago where we talked a lot about being in the present moment.
I've had anxiety for a long time - truly since I was a little child, but it really reared it's ugly head in my early 20's and manifested itself into panic attacks and excruciating worry.
I didn't know how to deal with it well at the time and the only thing that helped the panic attacks for me was to get on medication. I've been on medication for roughly 12-13 years.
I've been to psychiatrists, therapists - both individual and couples. I got a little bit out of both.
I've been clinically diagnosed with 'Generalized Anxiety Disorder' and 'Severe Clinical Depression'.
I became complacent with relying on my medication to control my anxiety.
It wasn't until I had hit rock bottom in an alcoholic relationship that I really started facing my problems. MY problems...not someone else's problems. My defects of character. It wasn't until I got myself out of the "woes me"s that I started feeling this.
What active part was I playing in my own life or in my own relationships? When we start to take ownership of our own parts we play in situations, our lives truly begin to change.
It wasn't until I gave in to letting go that things started to truly shift for me. That I was truly living in Acceptance.
It's been 2 years since I've been in a program that has saved my life and has helped me more than any one therapist, psychiatrist, self help book, etc. has ever helped me. In this program is where I have truly felt a shift in my anxiety and depression hold patterns. It's truly where I've felt like I may be overcoming these diseases in my life. I know that my core issue has always been anxiety and I've suffered bouts of depression at different times in my life, however, I don't consider myself to have 'Severe Clinical Depression' - as it has always been more anxiety driven for me. But regardless, the two usually go hand in hand at times or at all times.
I have tried to come off my medication once before a few years ago when I thought I was ready... I thought I could do it on my own and I was sorely mistaken. I had eventually grown comfortable to the fact that maybe I would have to be on the medication my entire life.
Over the past year or so I have been feeling more confident that I might, in fact, be able to get off of my medication. It wasn't until I found out that I was pregnant that it gave me the push to do so. All I knew is that I had made a pact with myself that if I ever were to have another child, I would not be on medication during my pregnancy.
God works in mysterious ways. My pregnancy and situation is certainly not ideal, but my growth is MORE than ideal.
What I could see as a mistake or a bad situation, or feeling shameful, in turn has me living in a present blessing.
And truly feeling blessed. Not just 'saying' it and still having doubts. I feel truly free. I think this is what they call serenity.
Sure, I have moments of doubt, but those are only moments or feelings that come and go (and do not linger) as opposed to debilitating daily feelings not knowing if I could make it through and living in a constant state of worry and panic.
This program in conjunction with other things I have introduced to take care of myself and my own well-being have changed my life. Al-Anon is the basis of my recovery. I have since added yoga and being open to other things to add to my life. They all tie in together. It's amazing how God is working in my life when I stop and take a look at where I am and how I have gotten here. When I remove myself out of my body and look at the person I was 2 years ago compared to who I am today, I hardly recognize this person.
I have learned that it's ok to say I am not ok with something or someone else's behavior in my life. It's ok for me to make decisions based on my own well-being and to not be in an unhealthy situation just because of a certain circumstance. I've learned to take care of myself before I focus on any one else in my life. It's ok to say no and it's ok to have boundaries...all of which I could not do before coming into this program.
Living with anxiety and depression will be a life-long existence for me. But learning more about myself and staying in recovery is the greatest gift I can ever be given. It's funny the things you see and the blessings that are shown to you when all you have to do is open your eyes and your heart just a bit.
I am happier in my life now than I ever have been before. Even as I sit here typing this not knowing what the future holds....an uncertainty of life with a newborn baby in a few months and where life will take me. But I don't feel depressed as I am not living in the past and I don't feel anxious as I am not worrying about the future. I am making a daily, sometimes hourly choice to live in the present.
I have truly learned what it means to Let Go and Let God. Sometimes it's a conscious effort and other times, when you make it a part of your life, you automatically let go...without another thought. And that, my friends, is the most freeing feeling of serenity there is.