I know you have all walked much of my emotional journey with me this past year, so much so that you must be sick of it. Yeah, yeah, Melissa; you're crazy, we all know it, now you feel tons better but still struggle sometimes, we get it!
But I have to say AGAIN how much I lived in the grip of anxiety before, and how much I notice it in contrast to the freedom I live in now. Not total freedom. Not effortless freedom, either. But glorious, nevertheless. I slept again last night before a day shift, without anxiety. The only things stealing sleep from me were Riley's little fish mouth hunting around for milk in the dark, and the fact that we got back late last night from my mom's place.
Before, I had these common fear themes, neurological loops that had been travelled like well loved paths in my brain so many times as to be effortless, familiar, and comforting. Germs, social awkwardness, confrontation, loss, trauma, death, car crashes, SIDS, fires, disappointing people, being late, being dirty, losing a kid in a crowded or public place, sexual assault, ecological collapse, worsening of my mental illness, death of a child, maiming of a child, or somehow, someway, getting it wrong and feeling I should have known better. Just to name a few. Since I have noticed these themes, I have been able to combat them with more balanced thoughts, and suddenly, after several hours of writing and sorting out one theme, and several days of practicing thinking in the new pattern, I am free from that neurological loop. I am free from that fear. Or guilt.
The energy I used to put into anticipation, prevention, worry, anxiety, and just plain old mental imagery of what death, loss, trauma, and etc would look like, I can now redirect. To SLEEP, to myself, to my kids, to my husband, to some fun hobbies like crochet and painting. Seriously, I feel so free. And I am very, very grateful. I feel happier now than I can remember, unencumbered. Thank you, post partum anxiety and depression treatment group, thank you, friends and family, thank you summertime, thank you Jesus.
Oh yes, and work was fine.