**Nothing money related to read here…unless you see following your mind to be a better idea than following your wallet. In that case, stick around! Otherwise, if you want to talk money, check out these money posts of like following the KISS rule, Thanking the Money Gods, or Why Beyonce is a Bad Ass.**
It’s Monday!! I am writing to you in real time because, as I posted last week, I am excited about my “Comment Convo” format and this chance to talk about a post I read today. It totally brought me back to my mid 20’s state of mind..and not in the fun, socializing, and making bad decisions kind of way. It took me back to a scary place that I think many feel (even as we age) but try not to dwell on. Unfortunately, not dwelling (or listening) to those feelings can cause them to turn into something bigger. So let’s take a moment to address them and set them free…
I am new to Amanda’s site Dream Beyond Debt. We are intertwined in the same group of personal finance bloggers and, in the last few weeks, we have begun to build a friendship via Twitter. Today Amanda published a post with an intriguing title – It’s a Gift. Since other awesome bloggers are writing about frugal ways to save and give during the holidays or no gift Christmases, I truly thought her post would be in similar light-hearted relation. It isn’t. Amanda has taken this golden opportunity to write about the emotional aspect of the season and the gift of anxiety that comes along with it. Gift? Yes, gift.
Anxiety can strike at any time…unfortunately, a season has no boundary for this wicked beast. That being said, the holidays are often a time of reflection. A time to spend in big groups pretending to be jolly while cramming mass quantities of food down your pie hole hoping to fill the void. The weather is worse (for most of the country), the days are short, and the sun is hidden. The end of the year is approaching as are all of the deadlines and goals you set with full intentions of fulfilling only to realize you are coming up short. There are 26 more days to the year. 26!!! Feeling anxious yet??
I won’t get too deep into Amanda’s post as I think you should read it in whole…HERE…seriously, aren’t you intrigued by how anyone can believe anxiety could be a gift?? Weird… But I will say that my comment to her only scratched the surface of what I was thinking. I initially wrote it all out in her little comments box but swiftly took it back and posted a more (much more) refined version:
Here is what I really wrote but didn’t post:
I, too, suffered from a bout of anxiety when I was in my early 20’s. I felt the world around me closing in which led to weird physical troubles like a bout of nausea that lasted over 2 months eventually causing my BF and me to pack up and move back home to Chicago. But that change wasn’t enough. Apparently, location wasn’t the issue. Back in my hometown, nausea took another 2 months to subside (the only thing I could stomach was chewing extra bubble gum) before it turned into something worse – panic attacks…
The first time it happened we were dog sitting for my Aunt. Everything was normal when I went to sleep but a few hours later I shot up out of bed drenched in sweat with my heart racing. It was the middle of winter and freezing outside but that didn’t stop me from running barefoot down the stairs and out the door while yelling back to my BF to call an ambulance…I sincerely thought I was having a heart attack. It happened a few more times before I realized the problem at its core. I wasn’t happy. My relationship was failing, I had no friends, and I hated my job. Because I didn’t listen to my mind, my mind told my body to shut down. And my body listened.
After the last attack, when my BF was bothered by the fact I was waking him at 3am to make sure I didn’t die (serious thoughts of a panic attack), I decided to make a change. I quit my job, quit my BF, and I moved to a new apartment. A few months later I accepted a new job as a Flight Attendant. It’s been 15 years and there have been WAAAAYYYY worse ups and downs than the ones I was suffering back then, but in that time, I have taught myself to listen to my mind. I take deep breaths and let the anxiety wash over me. I give it the space it needs and then I let it go.
The mind is a curious thing. It knows YOU better than yourself. It also knows how to manipulate your body. It is the first defense to all of your ailments. To heal your body you often must heal your mind first. When I don’t listen to my mind, my body speaks up…first in a whisper, then with a roar. So, Amanda, you are right. The anxiety, the panic attacks, the shitty feeling of failure or unfulfilled desires…it was a gift. That period in my life taught me to listen to the whisper before it turns into a roar.
So, how are you feeling at this moment? Are you ready to turn that
frown anxiety upside down? With experiences like Amanda’s and mine, you can clearly see that others are feeling the exact same thing as you or as many others. And it’s funny, it took me 15 years to speak about this moment in my life. 15 years to realize how I turned my own anxiety into a gift. And all it took was one blog post from a new friend to get me to see it all for the better.
What are you sharing with your friends, families, or readers today? How long did it take you to open up?
Until next time…
PS – This post was published with the permission of Amanda to use her post as bait for mine. Thanks, Amanda!! 🙂