Friday, 12 January 2018

Saying Yes to 2018

A few of you who read this blog will know I used to suffer from anxiety. It's weird to say used to because, although I haven't had a panic attack for over a year now and very rarely feel the level of anxiety I used to, it still doesn't feel like it's in the past. I have slowly realised over the past few months that it has really gotten better and although I don't want to tempt fate I feel it may actually have gone altogether. I am still quite an anxious person, I was before I developed mental health problems and I'm pretty sure I will be for the rest of my life. I'm a worrier and an over thinker but my husbands relaxed and chilled view on life has helped me a lot to learn to go with the flow a little more, but one thing I've noticed recently is my lack of ability to say yes. Having spoken to a few friends and family who have suffered or are suffering with mental health problems I think this is quite normal. Whilst going through the hardest time in our lives we bury ourselves, we hide away creating strategies for coping with this illness we can't possibly explain and although my anxiety has gotten so much better I still carry those coping mechanisms with me at all times. 

I noticed it a few weeks ago when I started to make my new years resolutions and kept stopping myself. I was afraid to set bigger goals because I was worried I wouldn't be able to do them, that it would be too much for me and could set off my anxiety. I created a safety bubble for myself when I was coping with anxiety, a place to hide from friends, challenges and opportunities but I realised, although the anxiety had gone, I was still living in that bubble. And so I've decided to pop it. I decided to set myself the challenges I want to do, to take the opportunities I wanted and to dive back into life as it had been before. I have decided to say yes to 2018, to say yes to more time out with my friends, yes to more opportunities without worrying if they will be too much for me and to challenge myself. 

So far this year that has meant starting a 100 day yoga challenge, something I worried I wouldn't be able to keep up but really wanted to try. As I am writing this it's day 9, I feel knackered but I'm loving the physical and mental challenge each day. I also decided to say yes to serving on a couple of teams at church. In the past my anxiety has stopped me from being able to give my time more freely, I wanted to keep my evenings and weekends free in case I felt anxious and needed to hide away in my home. But I realise now that it would only make me more anxious for the few times I did get out there and do something. I really want to start giving my time more freely in 2018 and not being scared to say yes to commitments I am not 100% in control of. 

Those are just a few of the things I've said yes to so far in 2018 but I really wanted to encourage anyone who is going through a time of illness or difficulty to not let themselves hide away. 2018 could be your year if you just let yourself say yes to it.  


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