Today is a great day. It's beautiful outside in overcast Sedona. I put on my new running shoes (the ones I wrote a post about) and went running for a mile. I was so worried about getting my sneakers dirty about a week ago that I considered not even buying them. And today, I freed myself of that anxiety by putting them on and taking them outside. I feel great! I'm realizing that I can really do this. If you have dreams, you can go for it. I even took it a step further for myself today and did a thirty minute pilates work out and lifted some light weights. It's a new beginning and it's time to get healthy and be rid of this illness, mental and physical. I caught myself thinking while I was running, "what if people are judging me and laughing about how I run? Or what if they're making fun of my outfit?" Then I closed my eyes, took a breath, and re-envisioned my outlook on the world. I straightened my back, lifting my head high, and kept running with a smile on my face. If I'm confident in myself, those other people won't even notice I'm shy. Besides–nobody's probably paying attention anyway! I've got to stop worrying about what other people think. I feel really good about myself today and I'm ready to be happy. I'm ready for a light heart and a light spirit. You can change your brain, you can change your outlook, you can change your life!
Last night I got back from my trip to California to get my visa. Everything is working out fine and the future I want is ahead of me. When I was there, I made changes in myself. I used to be afraid of the ocean because it's dirty and there are bugs and fish and sea critters out there. The beach is dirty, the sand, there's trash, etc.,.. But I thought, why not see it differently? So I looked out into the water and I took in it's beauty. I waded into the sea and I dove under a wave just to see if I could submerge myself in the newness and in the feeling of the sea. I was scared and excited and I laughed more than I've laughed in a year. I ran along the sand. I buried my legs in it. I got sand in my hair and up my nose and on my skin, and I didn't even obsess about needing hand sanitizer or a shower! This is big! I thought, here I go out into the horizon, here I go on the path to my new life–and it's here right now in this moment!
The last day we were there, we were driving away from my hotel and my dad said, "let's say goodbye to the ocean." At first I was hesitant, thinking, I can't touch the sand because then I'll be dirty and uncomfortable all day. But I said I'd love to stay and I went out into the sand and walked into the ocean again. I felt the waves and watched the baby crabs scurrying into the footprints I'd left behind. I watched the sunset and my girlfriend and I laughed and raced along the beach. I had one of the greatest days! And if I had thought more and let my anxiety brain get ahold of me, I would've been too afraid to enjoy it. I wouldn't have had that beauitful day.
So my words to everyone else struggling are these: Take a moment to breathe and center yourself. Consider your anxieties, your fears, and then ask yourself if the fear you have is holding you back. If it is, ask yourself if it's worth it to lose the experiences you could be having if you just let go. I have OCD, I've had it fairly severely for the last two years and I've suffered from it since I was ten. But I'm sick of being sick! We can do this! It's amazing to learn about the brain and what processes can be altered. You have to believe you can! Go for it! Be proud of yourself and rejoice in your accomplishments. Even if they seem small, it's a step towards a new you!
With love and support,