5/26/2016: Better

A reminder that the more we can share our stories of struggle and hope, the more we can remind our fellow humans that we’re never alone. $25 giclee print available at the Made Vibrant Art Shop.

There was a time during my first year of business that I struggled a LOT with anxiety. I don’t talk about it much (thankfully it’s not a major part of my life anymore), but I got to a point back then where my anxiety presented itself in all sorts of rogue ways: mysterious skin rashes, stomach problems, and, finally, chest pains, tension headaches and a perpetual lump in my throat. Basically my body was SCREAMING to alert me to a deeper emotional struggle that was begging to be paid attention too.

When things were at their worst, I remember nights spent in tears because I couldn’t get my mind to quiet down, my heart to stop racing, the tightness in my chest to release. And in those moments my mind would go to an incredibly helpless place: “Will I feel like this forever?” “Will I ever feel normal again?” Those kind of thoughts went on for weeks until I made the simple but powerful decision to start BELIEVING that things WOULD get better. Every time my mind wanted to tell me this was my new normal, I would acknowledge that thought but calmly say to myself, “I know you’re scared, but you’re wrong. It’s just not true.”

That daily belief coupled with some great therapy and intentional work on letting go of my need to please everyone really turned things around for me.

Last night, as I was in bed ready to fall asleep, that familiar feeling arrived. My chest tightened, my heart picked up speed, and I started to PANIC. This only happens now once every few months, but luckily I’m armed with my powerful friend: BELIEF. When I acknowledge that my panic is temporary, that it WILL pass, that’s when the claws of anxiety release their grip and ease drifts slowly but surely back in.

May is #mentalhealthawarenessmonth and I believe mental & emotional wellness is one of the most important parts of leading a vibrant and thriving life. The more we can share our stories of struggle and hope, the more we can remind our fellow humans that we’re never alone! 💪 😀