Take it one breath at a time

Sometimes when things get tough you just have to breathe. Take it one breath, one second, one hour, one day at a time.

Right now, I’ve just gotten off the phone and received some news that changes the plans that I had my heart set on for the next year of my life. It’s not devastating in the grande scheme of things, but right now I feel like I am on the verge of losing control. That’s what panic disorder does to you. Take someone who has high anxiety to begin with and add in some bad news to shake up their plans and you get catastrophic thinking that makes everything seem so much worse than it really is.

At this point I feel like completely giving up. It’s an unreasonable thought and one which I know I will not go through with, but sometimes it seems so impossible to go on. But if I just take it one breath at a time, it almost seems manageable.

I breathe in and out, slowly and deeply. I managed that breath, so who is to say I can’t manage the next one and the one after that? Who says I can’t get through the next second or hour or even the next year? It seems so impossible, but if you break it down into smaller steps, its more achievable. I can do this. I can get through this. I’ve survived worse.

I’m really scared and anxious right now, but I’ve got to keep breathing. Even if my plans change for a few months that doesn’t change my chances of achieving my goal one year from now. I can still get where I want to be, even if the path to get there is a bit longer or more difficult that I thought it would be.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last month. It’s been a really hard month full of a lot of self-doubt, self-blame, and a huge amount of anxiety. I don’t deal with change well, and I certainly don’t handle it well when my plans for the next year fall apart one after the other. Maybe the path that I’m fighting so desperately against is the path that is best for me. Maybe it is the path that will get me where I need to be. I don’t know and I suppose I never truly will. I don’t understand why bad things happen, and I don’t understand why people lie and deceive you in ways that turn your upside down; but it happens. I don’t think I truly understood how unpredictable life can be until this past 5 months of my life. I’ve encountered so many road blocks and so many unexpected barriers. I’ve felt like giving up so many times; but I didn’t. I’ve learned that my ability to adapt and survive is a bit better than I gave myself credit for.

Right now, I feel like an anxious ball of self-doubt. I felt the same way one month ago. But in between the self-doubt and the anxiety I’ve also discovered that I can do things that i don’t really want to do in order to get where I want to be in the future. I’m not happy right now and I hope that this won’t be what the next year of my life will be like, but I think I can survive it even if I’m stuck in this place for a few months. I’m learning to tolerate distress. I’m learning how to be a stronger and more adaptable person.

xo

Ayla

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