"2018 is going to be my most carefree year yet," I remember saying to myself as I got ready to celebrate New Years Eve with some of my closest friends. I was ready to let go more (which for anyone who knows me knows that is nearly impossible), focus on positive energy, and really just have more fun. Let's just say 2017 was the opposite of all those things. There were many factors going on in my personal life (a really bad breakup, stressful job...the usual) and I was ready to leave all of that behind me. You know that saying when you make plans God laughs? Little did I know he had a laugh track ready to go for my carefree year.
Just to backtrack a little, I have always been someone who has struggled with anxiety. I remember being 14 and having my first panic attack. After that there was about three years of my life where it felt like an elephant was constantly sitting on my chest. But then there were a few years where it felt like I had everything under control. Even during that time I was still very much an anxious person but it was at a more manageable level. I have been oh so blessed with strong genes filled with anxiety.
My anxiety started coming back last year. The majority of it stemmed from a pretty chaotic relationship and stressful breakup. I physically felt like a weight was lifted off of me when it ended and I was ready to move forward. But I didn’t realize how much that had affected every area of my life. After that breakup I started experiencing anxiety in the most minimal situations. It felt like it was trying to creep back into my life as I kept trying to shut it out. But there was no shutting it out. Throughout 2018, it started manifesting in physical symptoms that ultimately led to my first (yes first) ulcer diagnosis. I can still hear my grandma’s voice as I called to tell her, “You know that is what kept your grandfather out of the war, right?” Remember those strong anxious genes?
Today current me is still dealing with all of this. In this year alone, I’ve been diagnosed with two (you heard me) ulcers, have gone back on my anxiety medication and am currently shopping for a new therapist. Carefree year right? All joking aside I truly believe it’s important to talk about these kinds of things. I know there is still a stigma attached to anxiety and any mental health issue but I also know this stigma really holds us back. Moving forward means embracing every part of this and sharing with others who might feel similar things as me. It is also important to share my experiences with those who have no relationship to anxiety and hopefully shed some light on what so many people go through.
Writing has always been a creative outlet for me and I am excited to journal my truth and share it. A blog is super intimidating to me as it means I'm shouting my most personal thoughts and feelings into the internet. But I know I always feel better vocalizing what I am going through vs shutting it out and sweeping it under the rug. I’m also excited to share other aspects of my life that I’m passionate about: like yoga, baking (more importantly eating baked goods), what I’m watching, listening to, and reading, and all the other fun parts of life. Thanks for going on this journey with me.