Dear Beautiful You,
As I began my healing from anxiety, I realized very quickly the process was not a straight path. My journey of recovery started slowly, where I would feel better for only minutes at a time. If you are experiencing anxiety around the clock, a minute of freedom is a welcome blessing. Before long, these minutes would turn into hours, and then days of relief. There were nights that I would sleep though the night and I would wake thrilled that I could once again rest and enjoy true restorative sleep.
That is why the first setback hit me so hard. It was such a blow to my confidence. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing, and like a shot to my system I suddenly felt the familiar pangs of emotional fear and physical symptoms. I sat in my room ruminating what I had done to cause this monster called anxiety to return. I obsessed on the preceding hours and days, retracing my steps, looking for clues as to what brought this on. I cried, got mad, and threw an incredible pity party. This setback lasted for days and I truly thought that I was once again stuck in the nightmare of panic and suffering forever. But, in a few days I was back to feeling good again and thought it was a one-off and would not happen again.
But... just a week later, again I was thrown into the world I so badly wished to escape. This time, there were some tears and a little swearing, but I tried my hardest to not let it bug me. I knew that trying to figure out anxiety was like pouring gasoline on a fire, so I sat with my anxiety and let it decline on its own. This worked, because I was out of this setback in just a day.
In time, I viewed these setbacks as opportunities to understand how far I have come. I would sit in them and smile, because I knew on the other side was light. I was given insight into the distance from where I was, to where I wanted to be, and it was a beautiful example of my strength to persevere.
The lesson was not to invest any time in the setback.
To focus on the solution and not the problem.
In time, the setbacks became weaker and less frequent, because I paid them no mind and understood they were part of the healing process.
Bless any setback you experience in life, no matter how it happens, be it through your actions or for unknown reasons. Do not allow it to define you or make you think any less of yourself. It is part of your journey and it is okay.
What you choose to invest your time in is what creates your tomorrow.