This past week marked a full year since the bout of anxiety started that led to my awakening. As July 1 neared, I had a few passing thoughts about this milestone. But, with my mom visiting and all of us being on vacation (albeit a “stay-cation”), mostly I just enjoyed the relaxation and time with my loved ones.
When I reflect on the past year, I’m at peace with a situation that once terrified me. I know that this intense growth was a blessing and absolutely necessary for me to become the kind of wife, mom, friend, and Christian that I am meant to be.
Once I embraced the fact that I needed to be in the moment instead of always planning and controlling my thoughts and feelings, I experienced a deep sense of peace. For several months, as I practiced being in the moment, I would privately (and often publicly) comment on how wonderfully different it felt to be out of my head and fully immersed in my life. I looked forward to the time when being in the moment wouldn’t feel different, but instead would become the new normal.
Along the same lines, I wanted to let go of my anxiety about sleep. But, I learned (after several times of falling into the same mental trap) that striving to sleep well was the issue; much like how striving to stay happy was a case where the solution became the problem. I’d remind myself that back before my Okinawa trip, having trouble falling asleep on a random night didn’t mean anything about my emotional state. I wanted to finally reach that place of acceptance in regards to sleep.
When this anxiety started, all I wanted was to be back where I was before – convinced that I was happy. Once the lessons unfolded for me, my main goal was to accept and embrace the range of emotions. Instead of telling myself that I was “happy all the time” I wanted to experience sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, happiness, joy, etc.
So, a year in – how am I doing?
Being in the moment feels normal now. The fear of not sleeping well has lost its control over me. I’m able to feel sad, mad, or anxious without having to spend time and energy trying to figure out how to be happy again. My faith is strong and I cling to Christ more closely than ever. I’m able to experience more in life because I don’t fear my emotional response. I’m able to grow and learn with curiousity and disernment.
In short, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.