I remember one night telling my mom, "I don't feel like myself." (She has been through similar things even on a deeper level than I have.) The neatest thing was she totally understood what I meant. She told me,
I didn't believe her then. I wanted to, but it seemed impossible."I know you don't believe me right now, but trust me. You will feel like yourself again."
It wasn't easy. I went through a lot of tears, anguish, fears, etc. and I still do. But, the more time that passes, the more I feel like myself. It is interesting though, because even though I feel like myself again, I am different than I was before. I am more aware of the people around me. I have a more forgiving heart and I am much more accepting of others. Before anxiety, I was very judgmental. I am still working on it, but I have learned to give people the benefit of the doubt. Before, I found a lot of pleasure in being the loud and funny one in a group. That is not necessarily bad, but it may not be the best choice on the list of good, better, and best. I still love to be funny and have a good time, and I am still known for my ear-drum breaking laugh, but I have developed in ways I couldn't imagine before. Anxiety didn't take my identity away from me, it just molded me in new ways. I was afraid I had lost myself, that I was just going to watch my life pass by, but this hasn't happened. Having anxiety has helped me to appreciate the wonderful things even more. I have had hard days, but life is still good.