The word beginning can be used in different ways. As a noun it means the point in time or space at which something starts. As an adjective it means new or inexperienced.This word perfectly describes my worries. Worrying has lived inside my head since the start.
At first it was little normal things: Will I have anyone to play with at recess? What if no one wants to play with me? Is there a monster under my bed? What if the doctor wants to give me a needle? I really hope that bee doesn’t sting me! Ahhh is it going to sting me? Even though these were a big deal to me at the time when I was a kid, I was able to bounce back from them. I didn’t lose much sleep, make myself sick with worry, or overthink it that much.
Lets fast forward to being a teenager. Again the worries ranged from God I hope he doesn’t think I like him even though I do! to How am I going to get all this homework done in time for tomorrow? These worries still seemed pretty relevant to what was happening, but I was still able to bounce back pretty well – even with an autoimmune disease that made me feel extremely ill and seemed to be triggered by stress.
Now lets move to where my mind takes me today in 2017: Scenario One It’s Snowing Outside: I don’t want to drive in the snow – What if I can’t find a parking spot because there’s too many snow piles on the road? What if I get into a car accident? Then I won’t have a vehicle! How will I get to work tomorrow? I don’t have a sub plan ready for a guest teacher! I guess I just won’t be leaving my house today. Scenario Two Grocery Shopping: I can’t go to Costco…. there’s too many people in that parking lot…. and inside the store. No one knows how to drive their carts properly and they always get into my space. What if someone glares at me? It makes me feel so uncomfortable! Just thinking about going is stressing me out! I don’t want to have a panic attach – I guess I’m not going to Costco. (Note: I have had several panic attacks in several busy stores).
I know I have always been a worrier and I know I am no expert on getting over things that make me feel overwhelmed- but lately it seems to be controlling my life. 2017 has been a year of many highs, but also some very low points (which I’ll get into later). However, some of these events that have taken place over the past ten months have triggered me to fall into a never ending cycle of constantly having to fight with my worries. My heart races constantly. My brain doesn’t seem to shut off. I feel overwhelmed all the time and have trouble focusing. I can’t remember the last time I had a good night sleep. It’s exhausting!
So here I am today – a new beginning: I am finally putting myself first in what seems like a very long time! I am going to try and get a grip on these worries so I can start to feel like myself again. What does this look like? Searching for different mental health resources, finding calming strategies and tools, going to talk to a counselor on a regular basis, trying a new medication that my doctor has prescribed, continuing to go to the gym – what ever it takes really to feel “normal” again (whatever that means). Oh – and use this space to document the laughs, struggles, and hardships that will all ensue on my path to my own personal well-being. With any change – like tomorrow where I take my new medication for the first time- there’s sure to be worries following it – stay tuned!