Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Relief and Pure Joy

On this day one year ago, my boyfriend magically turned into my fiance. The night before, I was having one of my anxiety struggles. It was time for him to go home and I didn't want to say good bye. He casually said, "How about this, you come over to my house for dinner tomorrow night. I'll make tacos."
I thought this was a great idea, it helped me feel better, and we said good night.
The next day, about an hour before I was going to head to Jordan's, I was just chilling on the couch, surfing Pinterest. My sister said she had to go do something with some people from the church, and my parents and brother said they were going to look at a couch they were thinking about buying.
I told them I wouldn't be home when they got home because I was going to Jordan's for dinner...little did I know...
I drove to Jordan's and went to the door. To my surprise, when I walked in, there were A TON of people there! Jordan's mom, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, 2 nieces, best friend and sons, 2 uncles, aunt, 3 cousins, my mom, dad, 2 sisters, niece, and brother. They were all holding cameras, smiling, and cheering.
I was slightly confused, then Jordan's niece told me they were all here for my engagement party.
Jordan stepped out, got down on one knee, and my tears started. I didn't hesitate at all to say YES!

 This picture to me symbolizes relief and pure joy. After months of anxiety, I was receiving what my anxiety told me was impossible. I am so grateful this moment was captured.

***Interjection! If I may, I realized a while after posting this that it could be confusing why I express the feeling of relief. Why relief? Well, at that time, my anxiety was telling me daily that I couldn't be with my Jordan. It was telling me I didn't deserve him, I didn't deserve a happy life, etc. etc. When he proposed, all the anxiety was put to the side and I experienced peace and joy. Relief, I hadn't let my anxiety win. Time and time again I would start to slide back into my anxiety. I would begin to believe I wasn't worth anything again. Remembering this moment of joy, peace, and relief got me through...and my Jordan!***

Friday, March 8, 2013

Live Without Pretending

I wish I could take credit for this cute graphic, but I must give props to one of my favorite shows, Studio5. On this local morning show, they had this theme for the month of February, "Live Without Pretending." Their challenge to everyone was to truly embrace your life, imperfections and all. They encouraged people to even post pictures of things they would normally hide such as eating an entire carton of ice cream, what they look like without make-up on or hair done, or a messy room in their home. I feel the goal of it was to help us connect better with other people. None of us are perfect, so why do we sometimes try to pretend we are? 
While I don't think we should tell everyone about all of our imperfections and flaws, I think it is important to be genuine and real with people. It makes you much more personable and it can help create friendships that will last a lifetime.
The other day, I forgot a sweet woman from my church was coming over in the morning to kind of give me a run-down on the new class I am teaching. When I let her in, I was mortified. My house was literally a disaster. This was just after I found out I had celiac disease, so almost all of the contents of my pantry were all over the kitchen as I was figuring out what I could and couldn't eat. Since the kitchen was such a mess, we hadn't worried too much about straightening up the night before because I knew I was going to tackle all of it in the morning. So, seriously, my house was SCARY. I tried to explain to my friend why my house was so horridly messy and kept apologizing. Finally, she said, "Chelsea, seriously don't worry about. It is just fine." The funny thing was I really believed her. I didn't feel she was judging me or thinking I was a horrible housekeeper. She was being real with me. Her house has likely been extremely messy before, and she understood. Even though it was embarrassing, I am happy I had this experience. It helped me to be more real.
One of my ways of trying to live without pretending is to write on this blog. I hope sharing my experiences  with depression and anxiety can help other people. The more we talk, the more we can relate. The more we can relate the richer our friendships and lives will become.