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Recovery is a four letter word.

Recovery is a four letter word.

Dear Anita,

Your hair is made of angel's wings, and I love you more than 3am buffalo chicken dip after a night at the Ruck.  But not more than Defazio's.

Anyway, I hate these feelings. Everything is going right in my life, so why do I feel this way??

Fanny Frustrated

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Dear Fanny,

That's the nicest thing anyone is ever said to me.

Now, Kelli Walker, my anxiety coach, and the Patron Saint of my future children (or at least one goldfish), wrote a recent blog asking the question, "am I measuring my 'recovery' based on the presence of anxiety?"

Yes. Duh.

If I have these emotions, I'm failing, right? (Sign me up for 85 more sessions, K-Diggity.)

Sometimes the anxiety lava bubbles up through a freshly cooled crust of calm, and that sucks. I look for calm a lot. The slippery slope here is that when I spend my time searching for calm, I'm actually searching for the presence of anxiety. <Insert the emotion you're not digging at the moment.> Are you searching for happiness every second of the day? And when you feel that bit of sadness, does it feel disappointing? "There it is again...why can't I just feel happy?"

Kelli's point (which has become my rallying cry, and a major game changer for me) is that the emotion is going to be there whether we like it or not. We're human.

She's not being frivolous with that comment. It's just that simple. Our expectation that we should be always happy means that when we feel normal sadness, something is wrong.

Glennon Doyle Melton (otherwise known as the woman my best friend would leave her husband for) implores for us to not "carpe diem"...we just simply can't love every minute of every day.

This nonsense does feel like a struggle. And I really don't like feeling anxious. I write about it not because I'm not "brave", I'm just using my narcissism to bridge a communication gap.

Sometimes ‪#‎thestruggle‬ is hard for me to articulate. Sometimes it's like my soul is tired or something. Sometimes my world feels very small, and all I can see are the anxious/sad/mean thoughts around me that have tricked me into thinking they're brick walls. It's not brave, it's just what we all feel sometimes.

I'm learning that my brain's job is to make these thoughts. It thinks it's doing a good job and keeping me safe...like an over-excited puppy.

My brain and I just need to build new paths to walk down, and we know the way to knock down those pretend walls is to get out there. So, even though my need for social connection is usually outweighed by my need to not wear a bra, I answer the calls when a friend wants to talk. I walk at lunch with the old ladies in the flower print skirts and white sneakers. I make plans to explore the town with a new friend. I tell family what I need. I go plays, or to help a friend babysit. I can't explain how much that helps me become the person you see in print.

Most importantly, my brain and I are learning that these feelings are ok because they're normal. I've also been intentional to set myself up with a great network of support and help.

You are worth being loved the way you need, and should really give yourself a break for feeling like crap sometimes.

All the Xs, and the Os,

Anita

Also, read Kelli's blog:

http://www.panicandanxietycoach.com/classroom/2016/4/18/blog-how-do-we-measure-our-recovery

The Voice(s)

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