I look back on the person I was a year ago and I can scarcely imagine the way I thought and the things I wanted. I’ve done a lot of growing since I met Naomi and I’m seeing it in so many areas of my life. I recognise fear when it comes to me, and I challenge myself to move through it. I genuinely care about others, not just out of being polite but because I value their experiences. More often I listen when people speak, rather than wait for my turn to say something. And perhaps greatest of all, I recognise that there is a whole world outside my head. This revelation was particularly strong when one day, after brooding on everything that was stressing me out, I looked up and saw a duck standing on one leg perched on the edge of a small waterfall. I wondered how long it had been there, and marveled at how peaceful it was irrespective of the whirlwind of stress going on inside me.
Yet times are not always rosy. I’ve worked hard to get where I am today. I’ve confronted a lot of the unhelpful beliefs which kept me back, and I’ve broken myself down and rebuilt myself in subtle (and not so subtle) ways these past twelve months. I also realise that I’ve got a lot more confronting and breaking down to go, but I’ll get there when I get there. I just wanted to share a quick journal entry from a few days ago, which I think does well to capture my growth towards looking after my mental health.
“8th October, 2013. Today my anxiety walks with me. But, gently, I walk alongside it until it’s ready to walk on its own.
It doesn’t feel like it sometimes, but struggle is a sign of change. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn how to be happy and get on with my life, even on days such as these.
The most important thing is to stop caring so much about how I feel, and to care more about the world outside my head (particularly other people, who deserve my full love and attention).
Life is good in the end.”