I used to struggle from horrible anxiety. In 2001, after 9/11, it was so bad, that I was afraid to leave my home. That was my all time low. My anxiety overpowered every other aspect of my life. But I love adventure. There are so many places I have always wanted to visit (Amsterdam, Spain, Germany, Nepal, Alaska, Australia, and the list goes on), however, I have always been afraid to fly. I actually find I’m kind of an adrenalin junkie who has always been afraid of everything around me.
A lot of counseling and one divorce later, my anxiety has completely disappeared. I cannot be certain what, exactly, caused the anxiety to disappear, but I can take a pretty good guess. The day I was separated, I felt no anxiety. I felt a lot of fear about what would be next, but no anxiety. It took some time, but I realized all my adventure lies ahead of me.
So far, my adventure has been limited, but it’s still been amazing. I’ve done things I may have never thought to do. Maybe nothing wild and crazy…okay, some things have been, but not a lot of traveling. I did go to Sedona, AZ. That was amazing. It was on my bucket list and every bit as stunning as the pictures. I’ve done a girls’ weekend with my tribe. That was amazing too. We went boating (okay, we were tied to the dock, but it was still an adventure). I drove to Disney with the kids. They helped a bit with the driving, but not a lot. I never thought I could do a road trip like that as the only adult.
So, where am I blogging from? Beautiful Montecatini, Italy. Never, in a million years, did I think I would have the nerve to get on an overseas flight. While my fear seemed to have disappeared, I wasn’t sure how I would do with knowing I would be taking an international flight. I never lost sleep worrying about the flight. I didn’t have to take medication for anxiety. So I am sitting in Montecatini keeping up with my blog and enjoying the beautiful sites of Tuscany. Florence, Lucca, Siena, Cinque Terre. In fact, what I am finding is that I am excited to come back to Europe and explore other countries. The world is open to me now and I love that.
I really don’t know what the actual cause of the anxiety was. But I truly believe that when you are in the right surroundings, sometimes that makes all the difference. Clear your mind of the what ifs and the I can’ts. Do something wild that you only thought you could dream of, not actually do. Enjoy life. Anxiety can be so paralyzing that it’s so easy to forget that we need to live. We have one shot at this life. Make the most of it. Be kind, be happy, be brave and seek out adventures.
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!” -Dr. Seuss