This morning I started thinking that besides being late for work again, (AJH waits to have a huge poopy diaper until RIGHT before we have to leave in the morning) I was having a pretty good day.
And then it occured to me that I was assuming I’d be having a bad day. I was totally shocked when I thought to myself that things weren’t going all that bad yet.
It stunned me and reminded me of the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.”
Why can’t we be happy until proven otherwise?
Instead we tend to live in the opposite realm:
Unhappy until proven happy.
Unworthy until proven worthy.
Ugly until proven pretty.
Bad until proven good.
Who or what is it we’re waiting on to prove we deserve to be happy, worthy, pretty, or good?
As I quoted from Brene Brown in Be Worthy Now, why do I need a reason or prerequisite to be happy or worthy or pretty or good?
I’m gonna start the day feeling HAPPY and wait until proven otherwise.
I’m gonna start the day feeling WORTHY and wait until proven otherwise.
I’m gonna start the day feeling PRETTY and wait until proven otherwise. Sometimes that happens as quickly as someone saying I look really tired, but I’ll try not to let it get me down.
I’m gonna start the day feeling GOOD until proven otherwise. And I will try not to let the things that get me down affect my worthiness.
*Hope you don’t mind day 2 of self-affirmation pictures. I think it’s a postive thing for me, so I’m gonna keep doing it!
For me, this simple mental shift really helps with the anxiety I often feel. For those of you that don’t know, I’m kind of on a new journey here…
If I’m trying to be more “authentic” I may as well be honest and open. I’ve been struggling with moderate to severe generalized anxiety for as long as I can remember. Sometimes when I tell people that they say, “Well, what on earth do you have to be anxious about?” And I say, “Exactly. Nothing. And everything.” and that’s the way it works. Those of us that suffer from any form of anxiety or depression know that something is wrong when we are pushed over the edge by finding matching socks or having a bad hair day. It’s not something we can just “wish away” and as much as we may try to “put on our big girl panties and deal with it,” it’s not always that easy. So I take it one day at a time, and writing about it really helps.
Anyway, the “new journey” is trying to deal with my anxiety unmedicated. I have been on and off anxiety medicine for a long time, and while I think it helped in the beginning I began to see a need for more and more, with no lessening of my symptoms. A little voice in my head started telling me that something about this process was wrong. I was feeling tired, worn out, and unlike myself and I had no idea if it was from the medicine or just my body telling me to STOP. Chill out. Figure this out.
(Quick disclaimer: I am not knocking the use of medicine.I know for a fact that it can help people get their lives back. I have seen this more than you may know on a first-hand basis, and it worked for me for a long time. I am trying a new journey now and I appreciate all the support I can get. Whether you are a friend, family member, or complete stranger, I promise to support you on your journey whether it be with using prescription meds or not).
My perspective kind of changed when I explained to our babysitter that I was feeling kind of off because I was taking a new anxiety medication. She said, “Oh, have you tried meditation?” The resemblance of the two words shocked me. I quickly said, “Oh no, I am totally not there yet. I can’t sit still that long,” but a light-bulb went off in my head and I thank her for that.
Medication vs. Meditation….hmmmm?
I talked with my doctors and they supported my efforts to try to deal with my anxiety without medicine. If I were to ever get pregnant again (which I hope to at some point) I will have to go off the medicine anyway, but that’s a completely different story.
I am still going to counseling every once in a while to learn new strategies on dealing with stress, etc. and have also tried accupuncture, yoga, and altering my diet. So far, so good. I’m still slowly easing off the medicine, and while it’s not completely out of my system, it has dropped drastically and my symptoms are actually lessening, too.
I still have days when I want to scream. One annoying question too many from an inquisitive student, or one none-of-my-clothes-fit day can send me over the edge if I’m not careful.
But so far, today has been a good day. I haven’t had any (major) anxious outburts.
I am happy until proven otherwise.
Calm until proven anxious.