Hello you guys! Whew, a new year. It comes with a revolving chatter rotating around new years resolutions, goals and hopes. You’ve got the folks who reach for the sky with work out goals, only to crash a few weeks later, settling back into their old ways. You’ve got the people who attempt new diets only to be faced with the guilty foods days later and cave in. THIS is where the problem lies. I am all about a new year, although what I have learned most in 2015 and will take with me in 2016 is not to live in regret, or a “make or break” attitude –
Listen, I am a lady of perfection. A classic type-A if you will. A planner through and through. Over 2015 I learned in the hardest of ways that things hardly ever go as planned. Your calendar will be flipped over, challenges you face may last weeks or months and even longer. As some of you know, in 2014 I had an epic panic attack. I have always dealt with anxiety in my life, since I was little, but it never presented itself in a physical sense. A few months after moving into the house, over whelmed and unprepared we had sick kids, a house that needed SO much work, a new neighborhood and I felt lost. My type-A personality could not find a damn thing to cling to that felt familiar and safe. My routines went straight out the window. I found myself opening up to friends and family about the anxiety I was feeling and yet it just was not getting any better, I simply could not cope.
Then one wonderful day in late summer of 2014 I experienced a terrifying panic attack. Not like they show in the movies with you breathing into a paper bag and being brought to a calmer state in minutes. I was full-blown on the floor, couldn’t breath, losing oxygen, losing feeling in my arms and legs and just completely immersed in the idea that I was dying. LEGIT thought “Abby, this is it. You’ve overdone it.” The ambulance arrived and knew right away upon walking into my living room that it was a panic attack, the paramedics were the sweetest and took good care of me and urged me to seek help.
HELP. AGH! I am never one to ask for help, like ever. I was avoiding turning to medicine for the entire year when I felt in over my head. I could not get a grasp on my anxiety and it was definitely playing a role in my life I did not want. I avoided a lot of social situations, every doctors appointment (which was ALOT) with the kiddos I was overwhelmed, shaky and just sick to my stomach. I felt overcome with worry, all the freaking time. A dear friend of mine encouraged me to talk with my doctor about medicine for anxiety, she too had a rough year in the past and it helped her. I spent months avoiding it, and in the back of the ambulance I just knew I had to turn to something else to help me through it.
(Please note, this is not the answer for all anxiety issues. I’ve tried MANY alternatives and I am not a doctor so please talk with your doctor before jumping to decisions for yourself)
So after trying essential oils, and meditation, and working out and ya-da ya-da I took my doctor’s advice and started a small dose of anxiety medication. It took a few weeks to get used to it, and for the massive panic attack I had to work its way out of my system. But, before I knew it I was feeling much like the OLD confident Abby …. something just clicked. One thing I promised myself when starting the medicine was that i would not be ashamed. For years I knew I needed “help” and for years I told myself only crazy people take medication and I was not that bad. Well, I spent an entire year on the medicine, weaning off this past summer to try for a baby and it completely changed my life. (I weaned successfully, and thankfully haven’t looked back) 2015 was a year where I sorted through a lot of what I was ignoring, and morphed into better version of me I hadn’t tapped into yet. It was an entire year of growing and learning and I could not be more proud of it all.
I learned in 2015 that taking care of yourself is an essential. With sick children and a huge house project I put everything before me, literally, not sparing a second to take care of myself. With my nerves calmed I spent all of 2015 learning new coping mechanisms for the situations that would once get me all tangled inside. I learned to LET GO of perfection, to not set myself up to be let down. To be okay with everything being in the air and unsettled, to not knowing the future or even what tomorrow holds. Sure, it still bothers me, but thankfully (I owe a lot to the medicine and my self practices) I learned how to BALANCE.
Balancing was something I thought I was doing, but never realizing I was leaving myself in the dust. I am very proud of how I have grown, and even more proud that with being without the medication my anxiety has improved so much. It gave my body the break it needed, it leveled me out. It help me to see things clearer. I can not thank my husband enough for all of his support, he loves me so.
So, if there is ONE thing I would like for YOU to take into 2016 is to live your life with a greater balance, a greater purpose. Take it all in, know when to take a step back. Learn as you go, and give yourself a break when things fall apart. Learn to lean on loved ones, and to reach a hand out to someone who needs you in return. Look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are, we are all a work in progress, and that’s a good thing … BE IN THE MOMENT.
With Brody’s recent relapse of U.C. I was able to walk through it with a much calmer spirit. Of course there were tears and great worry, but I had to learn to trust the process. Trust the journey that is ahead and know that all I can do is be the best mother I can to my boys. To help nurture them. So, don’t be so tough on yourself. 2016 is a blank slate, and there will be highs and lows. My wish for you is to find the balance in it all….