We just had Thanksgiving long weekend up here in Canada. We spent it up at our family cabin eating, drinking, napping, reading and eating lots and lots of turkey. Of course on turkey day we went around the table and spoke in turn about what we were thankful for – our family, friends, nice houses, spending time together etc etc – but the thing that stood out the most for me personally was being thankful for my health.
And i’m not just meaning my physical health. Yes, I am thankful that this “getting older by the day” body of mine is still working relatively smoothly despite a few minor bumps and an increasingly challenging back and neck (and ankle lol). I do ask a lot of of my body though and it’s pretty much doing what I want it to do.
Except when it doesn’t.
It’s not my body that has been failing me lately, it’s been my mind. I haven’t shared much on this blog about my past challenges with anxiety and panic – not that I am ashamed or embarrassed about it, but mainly because I have been able to manage it fairly well for the past 14 or so years.
But that wasn’t always the case.
About 15 years ago after a particularly intense year mentally and physically for me I started to think I was losing my mind quite literally, and my body fell apart at the same time. The physical manifestations of anxiety were devastating – shakes, heart palpitations, trouble breathing, dizziness, insomnia, “electric shock” sensations, vision issues and a hyper awareness of every little thing going on inside myself. To make a “not so nice” long story short – I gave up just about everything I loved doing and became a recluse. I spent 3+ months off work and had intensive medical intervention to get me back on track. Meds, counselling, you name it. But it did get better. Wayyyyyyy better. And life went on.
Fast forward many many years to the past few months and the same old negative patterns started emerging. I was putting a lot of strain on myself mentally and physically and started to fall into some of the bad habits I had 15+ years ago that led up to one of the worst times of my life. I worried about this and worried about that and picked at myself for this and got down on myself for that and some of the physical symptoms of my anxiety started to rear their ugly head again.
Luckily, I recognized what was going on and am taking steps to reverse this downward spiral before it gets worse.
So, the past few days have been good.
Last week wasn’t. Last week I was really worried that this was all happening again. But… I am thankful for the past few good days and keeping myself on track. I am thankful for all the love and support around me. I am thankful.