This blog started out as a recipe sharing site, mostly for my friends and I to easily access each other's recipes and inspire each other to cook more creatively.
There is a two year gap from when I started this blog and when I returned to it. During these two years, I was diagnosed with general anxiety, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). One therapist said that I had a psychiatric break with reality. Long story short? I allowed fear into my life and slowly but surely, it invaded every aspect of my life and reduced me to an empty shell, afraid of my own shadow and lost all trust and faith in myself. I lost myself and fell down the rabbit hole and for a while, I honestly wasn't sure I'd ever recover.
I was put on all kinds of different medications in order to "fix" the problem.... all but one didn't work. Two sedated me so much that I was a walking zombie and was numb to everything - everything but fear. I gained 80 pounds as a "side effect" from several of the medications. I was chained to pills... taking them at regular intervals, including having to wake up in the middle of the night in order to take another pill.
I finally really broke and wound up in the mental wing of our hospital. I was there for 3 days. I was in an outpatient hospital for two weeks. After that I was seeing a therapist twice a week and a psychiatrist once a week. My doctors were on speed dial and yes, I used them.
I've never experienced anything worse in my entire life.
Finally though, finally, I am on my way out. I have not only seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I have bathed myself in it a few times and have tasted the first glimpses of freedom and peace for the first time in three years.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Two women have inspired me. backtoherroots.com and ohsheglows.com are two blogs that I am currently following. They are very different from each other, but what they do have in common is that each are hosted by very strong women. Women who have been at the bottom and have fought their way back out. They took a chance in telling their story and they have inspired me to tell mine.
I'd like to say that I have all of these brilliant insights into anxiety and especially OCD, but I really don't. I'm still trying to figure it out. But I guess I hope that maybe, some day, someone will read about my journey and feel hope... hope that they can make it out of their current situation too and that there is a better day coming.
Cassie at backtoherroots.com has started a challenge for herself as a motivation to stay healthy and this has really encouraged me to do the same. In my next post, I will break down my challenge. First though, I have to back up and explain something....
The past three years, I have used fear and negative thinking as a protection against bad things happening or scarier yet, doing bad things. If I'm always checking and watching for the other shoe to drop, than I will always be aware of the evil that exists. Like, if I keep my hand on what I fear, than I will never be caught off guard.
In almost everything, I accuse myself of being guilty until I can prove myself innocent.
For the next 49 days, I will stop this thought process. I will think positively and assume the best of myself. I will take my proverbial hand off the fear and allow God's Light to fill the spaces where fear has been residing. I will replace thoughts of fear, worry and doubt with thoughts of love, especially self love.
This will be my hardest challenge for sure. But that's not enough.... I need to learn to look at myself in a healthy manner, treat myself with love and care and create positive goals for myself.
With that in mind.... my challenge for the next 49 days until Thanksgiving is..............