Today was the first day in over a week where I woke up and didn’t immediately feel “sick.” I’m finally on the other side of the mountain and I can remember what being healthy feels like. Isn’t it funny — how when we’re in a valley (whether it be health or sadness or even a creative funk) it’s so hard to remember what “normal” feels like? At least that’s always been the case with me.
It reminds me of 2014 when I found myself suddenly struggling with anxiety, something I had never truly encountered until that time in my life. There were days when my chest was so tight I thought I was having a heart attack. Moments when I’d lay awake in the middle of the night because my mind was racing. And in those first few weeks when I was still coming to terms with that new struggle in my life, the worst moments were when the thought would cross my mind: “Is this what the rest of my life will feel like? Will I ever get back to feeling myself again?”
Now, on the other side, I wish I could go back and tell myself: This won’t last forever.
I wish I could remind myself that the only certain thing about life is that everything is UNCERTAIN. That everything changes. Once I was finally able to let go of that feeling of despair — that feeling that my anxiety would color my experiences FOREVER — that’s when I was able to find hope and actually develop strategies to help me deal with those tendencies. And now I can say that I don’t even think about my anxiety most days.
Whatever your valley is, whether that’s something as innocuous as a cold or something much more debilitating, I think there’s always value in HOPE. Believe that things will change, that a brighter and better day is just around the corner because sometimes that belief in itself is enough to turn it around.