Her parents were not aware of the anxiety for at home she jabbered away. Her greatest joy was when Mom and Dad had company over for she knew she had an audience to tell jokes, sing, dance and entertain. Mom scolded her countless times for she felt the silliness was annoying them. The scolding was worth it to her for she would go to her room smiling at their compliments of how cute she was.
The years went by and she grew up, got a job and even got married. The world thought she was making progress but only she knew the truth as she silently watched people laughing and eating in restaurants while she learned creative recipes at home wearing her social anxiety handcuffs.
She had fallen into the habit of being afraid and had allowed her fear to keep her from moving forward for way too long. She was the type of person that loved to procrastinate and often did best with a deadline. For years she would promise herself she would work on this tomorrow but as you can see many tomorrows went by and each one passing made it even more intimidating for her to begin.
Thankfully her husbands family health insurance plan made it a requirement to go for a yearly physical. This caused her social anxiety to enter into a whole new height but she had no choice. She nervously walked into the doctors office and cried. The sweet doctor listened to her for 45 minutes, hugged her and assured her all would be well. With a clean bill of health and a prescription for a mild anxiety medication she began the journey of leaving the kitchen and began going to restaurants. She was only able to eat a salad that first day but it was a start. That first step saved her life and at the time she did not realize the second step was exactly the same as the first but it was so much easier.
We get comfortable in our circumstances and they become normal. We wish for things to be different but fear leaving the comfort zone. We fear speaking about our broken pieces for people will think we are crazy. She learned in many ways everyone in some way is broken and the worse thing is to not speak!
I was that little girl and now as the adult it is time to speak about it for sure!
Doctors did not know how to treat anxiety back in those days so to them it was not an illness. I vividly remember being in the doctors office hyperventilating when it was time to get shots for school. The doctor was not able to give me the shot but told my Mother he would sign my paperwork and to bring me back once she was able to calm me down. Long story short after giving birth to my son somewhere in my bloodwork it came out I never had certain childhood shots. Because they did not know how to cure my illness it could have caused me bigger ones.
I will admit every now and then the anxiety tries to sneak back into my life just when I think I am feeling better. I yell at it and try my best to stay focused and often times it works. On rare occasions when I cannot do it on my own I am happy to say there is medication for it now. As an adult I found a doctor that told me it was an illness and not my fault. I am so grateful for her compassion to me. Her advice on how to handle the anxiety makes my attacks happen far less than they did back then.
I write this post for lately I have been speaking to many broken people who are going through family arguments, financial problems, loneliness and depression to name a few things. There are so many things that can break people's spirits. Every one of us has to endure something but what I want people to try to remember is; it is only a chapter, not the entire story. We cannot allow what is broken to become the plot for we all know this is not how we want our stories to end.
I was angry for many years with doctors, parents, teachers in school and anyone else that did not see how anxious I was. Fortunately now as an adult I know those were my best days for they were the stepping stones for who I now am. While I am quite overwhelming at times I love the gift of being silly. I turn into that little girl every time I hear people laughing. To quote Mark Twain, "Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand." Thanks to all the years my social anxiety had me handcuffed to the house I learned to cook and I am pretty darn good at it too. Thanks to the mandatory yearly physical I go for my check up and get any needles needed.
Each morning as I turn another calendar page I see months going by way too quickly and time now has become my deadline. There are days I exhaust myself for I try hard to catch up on life and the things I did not do.
Life would be boring if nothing went wrong. It is difficult when you see the huge flight but my motto now is " Do not look up, just stare at the first step"!
This former broken girl is grateful she took the climb for the view is beautiful and so delicious too!