It took me a long time to realize I had anxiety. The depression on the other hand… well, I had known about that for many many years. That started in seventh grade when the bullying was beginning and then I lost my Grandfather on top of it. I struggled a lot throughout my school years, but with the help of my friends I made it through.
When the divorce happened my anxiety was out of control, but I would hide it. I would lock it away and let it eat at me like crazy. I was falling apart. Most thought it was because of the divorce, but it wasn’t. It was because of the inner battle I had going on within my own head. Everything became a chore. Part of that was because of the emotional and mental abuse I had taken for so many years and I was slowly waking up to just how bad it was.
I couldn’t cook myself dinner without going in to a panic. I couldn’t clean my room or what area of the house was considered mine, because I didn’t want to face it not being good enough. I had been put down so many times for so long that I had forgotten what it felt like to have confidence within myself. I over thought everything I did. Absolutely everything. It was miserable and I kept trying to hide it from the people who were closest to me.
One day my friend asked if I had ever gone to counseling. I hadn’t and I had no idea what it would be like, but when he said that I had realized just how unfair to him I had been by unloading all my worries and stresses on him. Throughout my time in counseling I started to become more self aware. I started to realize how much damage had been done and it was when I had finally became aware of what had really been going on. I remember breaking down in tears realizing that while I had been trying to help others I was neglecting myself and my own well being.
I’ve been out of the situation for almost 11 months, but I still struggle daily. I doubt myself constantly, but I continue to remind myself just what I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. What I’ve come to realize is that what has truly helped me is admitting that I had the anxiety. By admitting it was there I’ve been able to stand up for myself. It’s not an “in your face” way, but more of a “right now it’s just too much and I can’t handle that right now” kind of way. I’ve been able to vocalize to people when I’ve had enough and I can feel it’s becoming just too much.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t always have to be strong. You can rely on people around you whether it’s your parents, your siblings, your friend, or someone at school or work. You have a support team and it is okay to rely on them when you need them.
Don’t worry, I know 2016 is almost over, but if you knew what kind of year I’ve had it would all make sense.
To start off, my name is Brittany. I’m a 24 year old Para-educator with a teaching certificate and endorsement in middle level mathematics. I was married in 2013 and divorced in 2016. I suffer from anxiety and depression, but I thrive on the positive things this life has to offer. I’ve learned a lot about myself since December and I hope in some way that this blog will help someone else.
Now, let me tell you a little bit about my story…
The end of 2015 was the worst year of my life. December 11 I had to put my best friend of over 11 years down. He was the best dog a kid could ask for and the pain is as fresh today as it was the moment I felt his body go limp in my arms as he collapsed while I held him through his final moments.
On top of that my husband left me (don’t worry. It was the best thing to have happened). I’m so thankful he did and while his timing was selfish I’m almost thankful, because I don’t know if I could have survived the loss of Boyer in the mental state I was in.
December 13,2015 is when my husband told me it was over. December 14 is when I packed a bag and took my valuables and moved out at his demand. Before you feel sorry for me, I want you to realize just how much of a blessing it was that he left. Moving back in to my parents house was the first day that I had felt safe in a long time. It was the first time I had gone home and heard encouraging words instead of insults and slams against who I was as a person. It was the first time in a long time that I had gone home and had absolutely no fear that one day that wall may become me against his fist.
The hardest part about the divorce wasn’t that I lost my husband, or that he left me. The hardest part was the fact I had broken my wedding vow. For years I was trying to fix something that couldn’t be fixed. You can’t fix something that the other person doesn’t care about and that is what I was trying to do. I never once did anything for myself, but I did it for the vow. For over a year I had been thinking to myself about divorce, but I didn’t have the courage to take the stand and leave.
You may be wondering just where the “New year, new me” comes from. Well… it’s quite the list, but it’s a valuable one. Since the moment I left that house my life began improving. Here’s a small list of the things I accomplished since that day.
•moved out of my home
•stood up to my ex
•filed for divorce
•passed my certification tests
•accepted a Math is Cool coaching position
•was accepted into the student teaching program
•turned in my mathematics portfolio
•divorce was finalized
•sold my home
•completed my EDTPA
•PASSED my EDTPA
•graduated from college
•received my state certification
•bought a new car
•was promoted at work
•received a raise
•got a new job in the teaching field!
•found myself again
•most importantly, I found my courage and my strength
When I list it out, I have so much to be thankful for, and that is just the last 11 months. Those are only the giant victories too. There are so many others that I didn’t list that it’s hard to believe that’s all happened since December 13, 2015.
Not only did I accomplish all of that, but I found the love of my life just 2 months after he had left. I found someone who lets my personality shine. Someone who accepts my flaws for what they are and helps me push through the anxiety and the depression. Someone who enjoys doing the things I want enjoy doing, and someone who just enjoys the real me. For once I know what it feels like to be loved and that’s an amazing feeling, but that’s for another day.
I want this blog to help someone. One day I want someone to read it and know that they can make it through anything. That no matter what life throws at you, it’s how you handle it and come out on the other side that matters.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about leanrning how to dance in the rain. -unknown