….in my cowardice, I simply tell them that the stars are not right.
I’ve changed a lot since I graduated college. I find that the biggest change is in how I view myself. My acceptance has increased, specifically acceptance of myself. I have even gone so far as to love myself in spite of my tendencies towards depression, anxiety, inadequacies, and “paralysis of analysis”, a term I recently learned.
This does not mean that I am where I want to be.
I have a job. I am making money. But I am not yet in my field. I am not yet applying what I learned in college in a career.
But I am on a journey, of sorts. And I am enjoying and hating it at the same time.
For starters, I am enjoying working part-time. I am enjoying the small amount of security that I feel from knowing that I have a regular paycheck. I am also enjoying all of the things that I’m learning, both practical and abstract. As far as the technical stuff goes, my job is not that hard. With regards to the abstract though, God is stretching me in ways that I have not yet been properly formed and there are times when I am deeply thankful to Him for it and then there are days when I come home from work and I cry and I just want it to stop.
But I am learning to be okay with my anxiety. Oftentimes, when it gets really bad, I feel as though I’m sitting in a very deep hole in the ground and no matter how much I try to climb out of it, I can’t get a firm handhold and so I just end up falling back on my rump and feeling worse than I did before. It’s times like these that make me feel like my anxiety is just too big to overcome.
But I have learned that I need to take it one day at a time. In order to truly recover, I need to establish good coping habits so that I learn to combat it over time. I usually use deep breathing, prayer, Bible reading, tea, hot showers, and journaling as ways to get my mind off of things that are running around and around and around in there.
In college, I never felt okay about how anxious I was. I mean, I felt justified in being nervous about upcoming tests and projects because that was the typical student struggle. But I felt like a wimp for being a generally nervous person and worrying about things that were way far off in the future or concerning myself about things that had already happened and were in the past. However, I had friends to support me when I felt at my lowest. As my graduation loomed closer, I feared the loss of my friends/support group. What a selfish thought! It’s never good to use your friends and I feel as though I have been guilty of that in the past. I still am, in some ways.
All selfishness aside, I realize now that I didn’t have to worry. Even though my college friends are far away, I now have my mother, my sister, my sort-of-sister-in-law, and my pastor and many other people in my life who accept me for who I am and who are willing to sit patiently while I dump the contents of my mind on them, so to speak.
I think my anxiety is here to stay, no matter how my circumstances may change. But I do get a thrill when I think about all the people in my life who will continue to care about me in spite of it, as well as all the wonderful books to read, teas to drink, video games to play, and Scripture on which to meditate.