Friday, June 01, 2007

Free to Enjoy Oneself

I went to high school at a time that I now categorize as "the Sunset Years." I was the last class to graduate before the Columbine tragedy. Before it was okay to have mental issues, before helicopter parents really took over, before high schoolers became so over-protected, health inspected, metal-detected.

I look back at my high school years, and realize, they really weren't as bad as I thought they were. Going through some old papers recently, I found my complete-with-comments mid-year report card from 12th grade. I was awesome, if I do say so myself. I was a whiz in calculus, challenging myself and my own class, I was actively listened to in English class by my peers, and I was a "natural" at art history. I find it really amusing that my history teacher wrote that I was good at history, but needed to pay attention more, and stop thinking history is "boring." Particularly since I went on to get a BA in... History.

Anyway, life went on and got more complicated, I graduated college, got a job, started graduate school, and in 2004, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This was a great relief, in that I had an explanation for my panic attacks and inability to sleep. It was also upsetting, to think that I couldn't handle my own problems, and needed to take a little white pill to keep myself on the level. I won't deny that the little white pills help. But this week, I'm discovering something more about the anxiety.

In April last year, after suffering for a while in a job I'd outgrown and was no longer happy in, I took a new job, and I left there just last week. I had this crazy idea that I was always going to be ruled by the anxiety. That the anxiety was going to take over what I thought was a great job and make my life hell. That I wasn't going to enjoy non-work life anymore, because I would be tortured by work and not be able to stop thinking about it.

And now, on this week of vacation before starting my next job, I'm discovering that I'm ridiculously happy. I'm sleeping better and needing less sleep than I have in years. I have no desire to take an afternoon nap (or nap all day, as I have been), and I'm not worrying about how the office is getting along without me. And I'm learning that the anxiety is not going to rule my life. It was a bad office. A bad job. When I went in this week to sign new-job paperwork, my new boss said, "I'm so excited for you to start next week, I can't stand it!" I'm thrilled to be appreciated again. I'm thrilled to be master of my of anxiety.

1 responses:

Red said...

Wow, I'm soooooo happy to hear that!

And girl... this picture of you? GORGEOUS!


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