Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Learning to smile again

So, I went to my therapist yesterday. Yes, I have a therapist. I've really struggled with anxiety the last couple of years and it got to the point that I NEEDED help. I couldn't see myself living like that forever. So, I faced my fear and went to see someone to talk about things and to see why I'm really dealing with anxiety.

It really got me thinking. I mean REALLY thinking. I was asked a lot of questions about schooling, friends, my family, my own little family, my marriage, what I'm good at, etc. Let's just say that the fear center of my brain is on overload. Plus, she told me that I said the word perfect a lot.

I felt better after leaving. I felt encouraged. I believe she can help me. She told me that she will change my life. I NEEDED to hear that. On the drive home is when I got thinking.

I thought about how I answered to her that I'm not really happy. That's weird, because I have the best life and I really am happy. When I think about it, I think I've just been in survival mode for the last two and a half to three years now. I LOVE being a mom and having my seven children. I love my two baby girls. But it's been challenging. We knew it would be. I'm not even me anymore. I miss me. I thought about how I don't wear heels everyday, how my hair is considered done when thrown in a ponytail, how I've cut off all my friends, how I never have anyone over, how I'm in and out of shape, etc. The fact that I'm just a mom, not being a happy mom.

Not even ten minutes after I got home, one of my friends dropped by. She told me to step outside for a minute. We ended up talking in her car for quite some time. She felt like she needed to come see me. We used to run together and were really close friends, but after having three more kids, we've hardly been in touch. While we sat visiting, I found out that she too had dealt with anxiety. She was also dealing with something that I am as well. I couldn't believe it. Well yes I could. I know she was inspired to come see me. I was so grateful for her visit. I was grateful to talk to someone that KNOWS exactly what I've felt. I was grateful to have my friend again. We hugged, cried, and told each other that we loved the other. I'm so glad she followed the promptings of the Spirit. I NEEDED her.

So, after talking to my friend yesterday, I tried to be me again today. It felt great. I looked cute. I made breakfast with a smile. I took D shopping and out to lunch. I played with my kids. thoughts were on my new goals rather than my anxiety issues.

Why all this personal stuff? Because I'm sure I'm not the only one dealing with this. If I can help even one person, it's worth opening up and just being real.

Can't wait for my next visit! Back to living again. Back to being me. After all, I love me!

The absolute hilight of my day...I called the boys telling them that D and I would return home in about fifteen minutes and that I would like the house sparkling with the kids singing hymns on the couch. As I walked into the house, G was playing "I am a Child of God" on the piano, J and A were sitting on the couch singing and C was standing leading them. That will keep me smiling for a long time. That, was a tender mercy. I'm sure of it.


Em said...

I'm glad all is well. It's amazing when the Spirit knows exactly when you need a friend.

Megan said...

Thanks for sharing your "personal stuff". I remember feeling the same way. I go in and out of it. It is nice to know there are others out there who are going through the same difficulties. Thanks for being so open. I really appreciate you and your thoughts. You really are amazing. I am always telling you that because I TRULY believe it.

The Stouts said...

I have never commented before, but I stalk your site from my sister Amy Earle's blog. Thanks for posting. I too suffer from anxiety and have been working with a therapist for a while now. It is good to know that I am not the only one suffering. And that their are others out there that want to be happier mommies.

Cheri said...

Hey cousin friend. thanks for sharing something so personal. I have been to a therapist on and off for many years. My problem is more of not being happy, sort of like what you described but with no anxiety. I love therapy and think everyone should find a good therapist. I think we, as mom's, tend to lose our true selves while trying to meet expectations of our other roles. It's a difficult balance and one that needs lots and lots of work.

Good luck and I will pray for you.
love you...

aunt jan said...

Hey, lots of love comin' at you from people who understand! I, too, feel that we all need to be relatively open about "life" because we're all going through it. And our struggles are much the same on many counts. Here's to happiness! You are on the road to joy!

Erika said...

Thanks for you thoughts T. You know I understand! I am still trying to figure out mine. And what happened to me last year and if I'll ever come back. But I am happy to know that you are working diligently on figuring yours out. Good luck! Love ya, E

CJ said...

Sorry to hear about the anxiety, it's so awesome that your friend was listening to the spirit. Friends are amazing like that. Isn't it crazy how one second you can answer a question and say you're unhappy and the next realize that you're one of the happiest people alive. I often wonder if I'm the only one. Obviously I'm not. Thanks. Love ya, J

Susannah said...

I'm not sure how I got to your blog, but thank you SO much for sharing this part of you. I moved to the UK in Jan (my hubby's US military) and the adjustment has been difficult. I've felt much of the same feelings of not being Susannah. Thank you again for sharing.