There were so many times in my life where I would catch a glimpse of deep happiness, but I would quickly put the kibosh on it. It had to do with my dreams and visions–things that would really get me excited. I would envision how great everything could be in my personal, professional, and emotional life, and my heart would be filled with joy.
But, always my negative thoughts would chime in:
“Hold on there, Jill. These are only ideas. You are sick. Probably too sick to ever get better.
“You are consumed with anxiety and you will never have an easy life.
“You weren’t able to go for the career you wanted; Hell, you weren’t even able to go away to college. You couldn’t handle your marriage and kids. You couldn’t even handle working just a few years ago. You’re a mess.”
As I learned to calm my very loud thoughts, I realized a truth–no one is judging my life! No one cares….Isn’t that great? It was both humbling and a huge relief to realize this.
But I cared. I cared very much about the state of my life. I wanted so very badly to be the person I always knew I could be. The person I was before all this horrible anxiety started. Somewhere inside me I knew that person was alive and well.
And I learned to have love and compassion for myself and my struggle. And to stop judging and berating myself for everything in my past.
Today I know there is nothing wrong and everything right about being deeply happy. I am no longer afraid to fully feel my joy. It is delicious and I deserve it.
And it has changed the structure of my life. I have allowed
myself to see the joyous adventure that resides in deep happiness.
By the way, it lies just on the other side of pretending that everything is ok, yet feeling like crap on the inside–you know, the low level discomfort that comes with settling for what is when you know you can have and be more.
When that discomfort gets to be too much, you start to take action. You take a little action, and build on it every day. Every day you can face your fears a teeny tiny bit. And the next day you try again. Rinse and repeat. And never ever give up…
Every day, I get opportunities to practice deep happiness. I am in love with my life.
Do you think I’m crazy? That’s ok, I don’t anymore.
For someone who lived for decades crippled with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, the things that make me happy might seem insignificant to some: Being able to work. Being happy to go to work. Doing things with people socially. Having friends. Being a confident mom. Being able to drive. Valuing myself. Being happy to grocery shop. Having faith every day that life will continue to bless me with good things.
To me these things are huge.
Nothing in my life was easy when I was consumed with panic attacks and anxiety. From the time I woke up until I hit the pillow at night, it felt as if I did battle and died a million deaths every single day. Waiting for a pill to dissolve on my tongue just to be able to handle the smallest of things most people take for granted. What a sad, sad way to exist…
Have you started to recover from severe anxiety and panic attacks in your life? Have you been able to find some happiness in things you could never do while you were in such despair? I hope upon hope that this blog has helped you somewhat in your personal journey.
We all deserve a full life of quality and happiness. This is our birthright.
Don’t be afraid to feel the joy in your life. It is there. Go to it with gusto.
I wish you peace,