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Letting It Go {My struggle with #anxiety}

Many who know me know that I suffered from anxiety for years {timeline totally related to becoming a mom}. Not noticeable, not medicated, but serious enough that many nights were spent awake in some form of panic.

Luckily for my kids, it never prevented us from doing things. Road trips, fun activities, etc. were all experienced and enjoyed, but not without days, sometimes even weeks of sleepless nights and A LOT of self talk.

Really, I’m a pro at the self talk.

Photo c/o the fabulously talented Eternal Reflections Photography

Just a week before our family trip to Disneyland, I found myself watching what would be my last crime show. I loved them so much but realized with that particular episode that I just couldn’t do it anymore. It only fed my anxiety,  however ridiculous {you should have seen me after watching I AM Legend….sigh}. And truly in the months following I noticed a HUGE improvement. But it was still there.

Disneyland May 2010

I turned 30 in October of that year {2010} and just weeks before my cousin, Radelle {a fabulous wedding photographer} and I planned to embark on an exciting 3 week vacay to California with our 3 kidlets. Around this time I found myself panicked at the upcoming trip, as per the usual. If I told you the scenarios that went through my head you would likely think I was borderline crazy. And I probably was.

So there I was, laying in bed….with horrible and mostly completely unrealistic situations replaying in my mind over and over and over. I was pretty much freaking out and just praying that it would go away.

And somehow I finally just decided to let it go. I just decided I wasn’t willing to live that way. I accepted and decided to believe that I was/am capable. I can do it….I can drive safely, trust my instincts, and make choices for the benefit of myself and our children. Hear that self: I AM CAPABLE!

I don’t know why or really how, but it worked. Though I have always been a confident person, somehow my anxiety tapped into the insecurities I had. So, I decided to let it go…what will be will be….and I was able to simply enjoy planning the upcoming trip. Even with a phonecall just 2 days before we were planning to leave – my mom {a worry wart…no mystery where I got it from} seriously encouraging me to reconsider the trip based on a *feeling* an extended family member had regarding my immediate family that something awful was going to happen. great. The even more awesome part is this was shared with my mom just days before my dad went in for a very risky surgery {he came out just fine, if you are wondering}. for real.

Anyways, while I wasn’t worried or honestly even considering cancelling our trip, I also didn’t want to be *fool* enough to completely disregard the *feeling*, despite not completely feeling like the source would be privy to that regarding my family. So I thought, I prayed, and I talked with Brent. I also talked with my cousin….neither of our parents had felt this aversion personally, nor had our husbands. And, most importantly, neither had we. In fact, we felt good about the trip…all the planning had fallen into place {a good indicator for me}, and we were comfortable with the plan.

In case you are wondering, we all came back alive 😉 and without incident as far as our safety goes. And the trip was AMAZING!

Photo again c/o of the ridiculously talented Eternal Reflections Photography
California 2010

The truth is, if something was meant to happen it wasn’t going to make a difference whether I was in California or at home. And I’m not willing to put my life on hold or live in a bubble so to speak, because *something bad might happen*. Let’s face it, something bad is going to happen – in reality, probably more than just *one* bad thing is in my future. But I’m not going to wait on the sidelines for it to pass – how fun is that? And how fair is that? To me, to Brent, to our children?

I want to live life. I want to teach my children how to live life….to love it….and to have FUN while doing it. I also want to teach them to trust themselves, to believe they are capable, and to recognize their instincts and trust them. I rely on mine A LOT – and make decisions accordingly.

There are no words….She so didn’t need the water wings but wanted them and considering this water was deeper than the lake we are used to, I definitely felt better about it. lol

When we were at the beach recently and a family member’s boyfriend was planning to bring his boat, I knew immediately it wasn’t something the kids and I would be participating in. Not because I have an issue with boating, because I don’t at all. The kids and I have some very fond memories while boating with family – the issue for me was this: 1. I didn’t know this boyfriend at all and 2. I didn’t know him well enough to trust his skills as a boat driver, and certainly not when it came to the safety of my kids. Now maybe I would have changed that thinking when he arrived and I’d taken another look at how I felt, but he never showed up so it wasn’t an issue.

I can’t say things have been perfect since, because I still have little *moments*. But they are few and farther between and I am able to self talk my way through things WAY faster than before. Any time I do have an issue, I try and learn from it what I might need to {there is a purpose in everything}, and send it on its merry way. I am grateful and feel really lucky that somehow I was able to move through it and really just let it go.

Jonah and his friends found the mud puddle 😉

Nothing has changed as far as our lives are concerned, we still do all the fun things we did before {and more}….but I am not only able to enjoy the moment, but also the planning that leads up to it. And that is a real blessing and something I do not take lightly. 

Ready for a fun quad ride {child quad} with a good friend! Camping 2012

So this summer {one of our 18}, while we’ve made making memories a top priority {and will continue to}, we’ve enjoyed the beach, the pool, the creek, road trips, quadding, camping, skeet shooting, horseback riding, playing in the mud {boys lol}, slip n’ sliding, jumping on the trampoline, doing a lemonade stand {with cousins}, and more. Most of these activities involve some element of danger I suppose, but we aren’t willing to live in fear or in a bubble. Instead, we are living in FUN and will continue to. If there arises any concern or the need to reconsider our plans, we’ll do so. But for now…

Ah the Slip n’ Slide!





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