Sometimes taking tiny steps still feel like huge accomplishments.
I have had a hard year with my anxiety. A lot of things have gone on in my life that have contributed to it. All in all it’s just been a tough year. Because of that I’ve sort of lost sight of a few things and have given into my anxiety way more than I used to.
It came to the point where I no longer wanted to go out with my friends – not because I didn’t want to see them, but because I was terrified that if I went out, I would (for whatever reason) get sick to my stomach and get sick in front of them. This is always a fear I have, but it hasn’t stopped me from living my normal life in a very long time. Not again until this year.
But yesterday I did it afraid. Yesterday I went out and spent the afternoon at the mall with one of my best friends. He knows about my anxiety problems, and is always good when I cancel last minute or bail on something because I feel “off.” But this time, I did not want to cancel. I wanted to go out and have fun. I wanted to go to the food court, and eat greasy McDonalds without worrying about anything. I wanted to go to the pet store and look at all the cute little bunnies and awesome lizards. I wanted to drag him into all the “girly” stores just for fun – and to tick him off a little.
And guess what – I did all of that! My stomach was really bothering me yesterday. I’ve been a little more stressed than usual and so, of course, my stomach was acting up. But I chose to ignore it. My stomach hurts every single day and I haven’t been sick for years (although that really freaks me out typing that…I know ‘jynxing’ is not a real thing, but it still freaks me out) and I knew that the likelihood of “it” happening was very slim. So I went. I didn’t cancel. I just did it. And you know what – within 20 minutes I wasn’t even thinking about my stomach anymore. We were out for over 4 hours, just wandering around the mall, eating, talking, laughing. HAVING FUN. It seems I’ve sort of forgotten what it feels like to have fun lately.
All I’m trying to say is that going to the mall was an accomplishment for me. It sounds crazy, I know. But it doesn’t matter if “normal” people can just go to the mall without thinking twice about it. I can’t. But I did it anyway. It doesn’t sound like much – but it’s a start! And that’s all that really matters.