Here we go

cropped-marys-pictures-277.jpgThis picture is of the inside of a little chapel I saw on the side of the road on the way home from the Grand Canyon.

As grand as the Canyon was, this little chapel is what remains as the gem of the trip that will forever live in my heart.

As my husband was concentrating on getting home as quickly as possible, I was basking in the amazement of the Grand Canyon experience when  I looked out the window. and caught a glimpse of a random little building along the side of the road.  As tiny as this little little building was and in comparison to the speed we were going it was amazing that I saw it. So in my usual vain of curiosity I said to my husband, “we have to go back and see that, what was that”. In his usual vain of wanting to get back home as quickly as possible and being totally focused on that he replied, “Why? You saw the outside, I’m sure it’s locked anyway.” To give you a time frame this was back in 2002. I said in my usual persistent impulsive anxious tone, “No, we must go back let’s just see.” So, he gave in and we turned around. He said he would wait in the car. I walked up to the door and to my amazement it just had a bungee cord holding it shut. I was in love- a naive, unassuming little building. The bungee cord was sort of a quiet little message that was saying c’mon in if you’d like. My law abiding black and white personality of a husband said, “you can’t just open it and go in”. My respectful but adventurous side said, “of course I can, that’s why there is only a bungee cord holding it shut”. So, in we went. I was in utter awe as I stepped through the doors. The window looked out to the most amazing view, beautifully framing the wilderness behind it. But what captured my heart and brought tears to my eyes were all the notes written in pencil  on the wooden walls and benches. Oh my gosh, There were words of hope and prayers and people just letting you know they passed through there. Wow! And not only was it allowed but it was welcomed.

I tried to take my boys back there and of course it just wasn’t meaningful enough until one of their friends wanted to go. So I took my one son and his friend. He brought his guitar and we sat together, the 3 of us, and wrote notes and we sang together. He played quietly and we sang together quietly. We sang songs that glorified our creator God. It felt like He was there with us. It was like we were in a house enveloped with the most amazing sense of peace and Love. It was, well there just aren’t any words to explain it.

I can recapture that feeling when I look at this picture and think about the moment. I felt safe, peace and I felt loved.

For anyone that has never dealt with anxiety, I want you to know that those are 3 things that people with anxiety don’t experience very often.

I went to a psychiatric nurse to get medication for ADD. She asked me a forever list of questions and when she was done asking, she said to me that my attention issues were not due to ADD but were due to anxiety. Excuse me, I’m pretty sure I need more help focusing then with anxiety. I left feeling depressed. I was really looking forward to getting meds for ADD, I knew I had self diagnosed correctly. Instead she suggested Lexapro or Zoloft. Nope, not happening.

So home I went so upset with a whole new set of thoughts to roam around in my already filled to capacity brain. I knew I had anxiety but again I fought against having that as a diagnosis. I had talked to my counselor about having anxiety but I only had it with certain triggers. I struggled with accepting that I could be labeled as having anxiety. The warrior princess inside of me fought it HARD.  It was hard enough accepting that I had co-dependency tendencies.  Now anxiety?

The analytical side of me kicked in and I checked with some family members that experienced some anxiety. I was trying to compare and explain it away, Didn’t happen. Ok, so I have some compulsive behaviors and yes I have some unusual triggers. Yes, I have let fear change the course of my life. Ok, ok yes I guess I do struggle with anxiety ALOT.

I now sort of have a mental excel spreadsheet in my head where I assign past experiences to a column sorted by age, location, friend, family, acquaintance, anxiety, co-dependency and believe it or not ( I ask myself) I am finding most of the experiences are landing in the anxiety column. It’s bringing another layer of clarity which is bringing answers to unanswered questions. Shame, regret, and humiliation are trying to drag me down but my warrior princess keeps telling me we’ve got this.

I can definitely see how anxiety was a BIG factor in my decision to continue using drugs and drinking when I started at the 13.5 years of age.

I think anxiety may play a big part in addictions. I think I will write about my experiences with anxiety because I think many people that have it don’t realize it and can become hopeless as a result. If we can understand it is an ailment then we can understand and have hope that there is a cure. I’m not saying it will go away but the more understanding we have about in regards to ourselves the more we can identify when it is anxiety and that the thought s we are thinking are irrational and we don’t need to pay attention to them.

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