**Trigger warning: this post deals with mental health issues including anxiety, PTSD, and OCD and my personal symptoms and reactions to each.**
When I created Bravely Walk Forward, I wanted it to be a place where I can share my move and adventures. Somewhere where I could share my struggles, wisdom, and everything else that came along the way. As you know from some of my older posts not everything is sparkles and rainbows.
I have PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and OCD. None of these things define me but they can change the way I view the world. Years ago, I couldn’t put words to how I was feeling, I put on a smile and either pushed myself through things, completely disassociated, or a combination of both.
I’ve spent a lot of time with traditional counselors and psychiatrists as well as intuitive healers and coaches. With their assistance, I’ve been able to appreciate how my brain works and that my PTSD, anxiety, and OCD has kept me safe, kept me going, and kept me alive.
I’m getting really good at managing each and can usually notice a trigger and how my body reacts. Usually, anxiety come first and I can feel my heart start racing, my eyes get dry, and I start shallow breathing. Once I’m in a panic, I’ll either pace or start cleaning. You would think cleaning would be a useful side effect, but it’s not normal cleaning, it’s furious and frantic. There have been times where I’ve scrubbed so hard my fingers will start bleeding. Once the panic subsides, I often start pulling my hair out one strand at a time, but only strands that feel different or wrong.
Wow, sharing this is hard. I’ve kept this in for so long.
Sometimes my anxiety will go on for days and I will be so high on adrenaline that I can’t sleep or eat. Sometimes my PTSD takes over and I go from being anxious and frantic to numb. This is when my self-talk will go to a bad place and I’ll be very unkind to myself. I don’t feel happy or sad, it’s like I’m in this weird grey area where I’m simply coasting. I can cry at the drop of a hat or lost my cool quickly and can feel helpless.
I’ve done so much work on myself that I can usually curb my anxiety within hours and my PTSD episodes to a day or two while still managing my life, kids, and clients. I’m a chameleon as I’m able to stick to my day to day routine and look after the needs of people around me while struggling in my mind.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve had 2 big episodes. When I sold my house my anxiety was so bad that it took almost a week to sleep and I was obsessed with the fact that I made us homeless. Logically I knew that we would find a place and that there’s no way we would end up on the streets but anxiety likes to point out the absolute worst case scenario for me. Anxiety forced me to think of all of the options that I have and to move quickly through my to-do lists to make sure everything is going to be okay. Because of this, I had a rental home, childcare, and a school for Tenesea secured within a month.
The second time I went into my anxiety and PTSD was this past week when I put an offer on, and got it accepted for a house in Courtenay. Although this is my dream house and I knew even before I walked through the door that it would be our home, it still triggered me. I went into “You can’t afford this. You don’t deserve this. You can’t do this all alone. You’re making a mistake. What if it falls through? What if something is wrong with it?” I’m sure even reading this makes you anxious. Imagine this running through your head like a blender of doubt. Once again, it’s forced me to make a plan, make a budget, and to remind myself that I got this. Yes, I can afford this house. Yes, I do deserve this. No, I am not all alone. I am not making a mistake. It won’t fall through and I will work with whatever comes my way. I already have an amazing mortgage broker, a real estate agent that’s going above and beyond to help, a house inspector, insurance quotes, and I’ve found a great lawyer to help seal the deal. I’ve even been looking at furniture and have pinned my dream colours and themes for each room.
I can feel the grey passing now and I’m breathing deeply again. I’m ready to move forward knowing that I’ve already dealt with the worst case scenario in my mind so I’m fully prepared.
My anxiety, PTSD, and OCD can be scary at times but they can also be weirdly awesome. Learning to love my flaws has been a huge feat for me and talking about this is helping. Maybe this post will help someone else find the help they need or simply remind them that they’re not alone. There is more to all of us than the highlight reel we show on social media and this is my behind the scenes.
Bravely Sharing Forward