We don’t do anything without a purpose, right? We need purpose in our lives. It gives each of us meaning. A reason to get out of bed every morning. But with someone who has anxiety, sometimes finding that purpose can be like looking down a tunnel full of mud, waste and filth. It resembles a long, underground sewer pipe. You can see the end of it, but there is no way in hell you are walking through all that shit. It’s easier to hope that someone will come along and clean it up for you, thus making it easier to go through. Believe me, I get it.
I wasted many years hoping this would simply just manifest on it’s own. To sum it all up, it didn’t. I bet none of you are surprised. So even though we know this, we still hope for it. It all goes back to the purpose though. We keep hoping, cause we need to fulfill our meaning. But here’s what I’ve learned. This is something that comes from you and nobody else. This is a choice your brain makes and only you have the power to change the way your brain reacts to the mud and filth.
For instance, let’s look at three ways we could handle this:
- We could sit and stare at the filth and hope someone comes along and cleans it up for us. Seems simple enough. Aren’t there people we can pay to do that?
- We could simply push ourselves through the filth and hope we come out OK on the other side. But our tunnel is still a complete mess. And by the time we get there, we’re gonna be so exhausted that it won’t be enjoyable. That’s only if we actually make it. We may not.
- We could clean up the filth as we go along. Get rid of the nasty stuff for good. It won’t be easy as we go along. As we will need to clean while we make our way through the tunnel. But the freedom we feel at the end is incredibly overpowering. You won’t be going down that tunnel again therefore you won’t have to worry about cleaning it again.
After spending many years going back and forth between #1 and# 2, I decided to try #3. The first few trips I took once beginning this approach were not easy ones. My anxiety would start as a thunderstorm about 6 months prior to the trip and work its way up to a tropical storm about a week prior to leaving. By the time I would get to the airport, I was almost convinced that there was no way I could physically do it anymore. Then there was my fear of flying. That’s an entirely different post.
It was like being in my own personal hell. That hell being my mind and my body. See anxiety is just as much physical for me as it is mental. It’s a whole lot of dizziness, loss of reality, tingling in my legs, blurry vision. The shortness of breath that makes you feel like the entire world is caving in on you. The nausea. The fear of tossing one’s cookies in front of others. It all hits at once. It makes me wanna run away somewhere safe.
But the more I travel, the more I have pushed myself to get on that plane. Walking out into a destination that is totally foreign to anything I know in my daily routine has been the most liberating feeling for me. I’m not exactly sure when or which trip I took that this started to change me and the way I view the world and how it’s changed the way I think, but this is part of my ‘why’ for this blog. I used to write. A lot. In my younger years. I would write about anything. Throw me a topic. I’ll spew out a few pages of how I feel about it. Poetry…..I loved it too. It was huge outlet for me back in my younger days when I had fallen onto some tougher times in my darker days. Falling in with the wrong crowd. I look back now and think it was likely that expression of my feelings in my writings that got me through that time when I didn’t think I had anyone and was far from a place that was familiar to me. Again, that’s another post for another day.
My ‘why’ for this blog is to help myself figure out where exactly along the way I found my purpose. It could have been a certain destination. Or it could have been a few different ones that I encountered along my journey through the tunnel. I’m not close to being done the tunnel. I’m only 34. I feel my tunnel has just began. But it didn’t begin until I decided to try my approach to cleaning up the tunnel as I went along. If your interested in cleaning your tunnel along the way with me, I invite you to join this blog. I’m gonna go back in time on my next post so you can kinda see what led me to this point. Then we can talk about the fun stuff. Where my journey has all taken me so far!
Because no great journey just happens out of nowhere. It all started somewhere. I’m happy to have you along for the ride. It’s a bit bumpy. But that’s why they made seat belts. ❤