At 39 (40 in December), I'm a classic work in progress but I've done some serious growing up in the last few years.
In 2011, I had a light bulb moment. I can't remember the trigger, but at some point it occurred to me, completely out of the blue, that I have suffered from anxiety all my life. For years I had thought that the anxiety I carried with me everyday was a remnant of post natal depression. I'm talking the heart racing, can't keep on weight, fearful internal dialogue kind of anxiety: a constant companion that makes it hard to experience any kind of joy. Anxiety locks you into going through the motions. There's very little smiling and no ability to keep a perspective on things. It's all about functioning and doing what you need to do to get everyone through the day.
If I'm nothing else, I'm a "coper". It could be my epitaph: "She coped really well". But I want to do more than just "cope" with my journey through life.
I still have moments of anxiety but I have come along in leaps and bounds. Fortunately, I have been blessed with an intense desire to overcome difficulties in my life. I've always felt that if I don't learn the lessons which are presented to me, I'll have to come back and schlepp through the same mistakes all over again. No thanks! Onward and upward.
I was very overweight growing up. My nickname was "Fat Jac". Lovely! As an adult, I was determined to overcome my weight issues and I worked hard to do just that. I'm eight years slim now and I'm never going back. I've ticked that box.
Next on my list is my anxiety. Last year I read a research article on the benefits of acupuncture. The research suggested that a dedicated course of acupuncture over a 12 month period can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Right! Onto to it.
I found an amazing practitioner in Chinese Medicine in Melbourne. Our little family had an incredibly difficult year last year and this kind-hearted woman held our hands through the whole process. I don't think we would have faired so well without her care and spiritual guidance. Every now and then someone comes into your life and transforms it completely. This special woman did this for me: I have such a deep love and respect for her.
My experience with Chinese Medicine certainly helped me abate my anxiety. I highly recommend it. It somehow freed up my body to allow my mind to finally change my thought patterns. I've always known I needed to do this to be truly free of anxiety, but changing a lifetime of habitual fearful thinking is easier said then done.
I needed help. And help came via a book.
I can't remember who it was, but I think it was probably an angel who told me to read "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" by Dr Susan Jeffers. It has been the single most practical and helpful self help book I have ever read: no nonsense, not tricky bits, just some basic truths about the power of positive thinking.
This book has helped me to let go, lighten up and trust that everything happens as it should. Fear is a natural part of our lives but it must not become a reason for you not to try. I've learned that security is not having things, it's handling things.
Recently, I was discussing Little Dandelion with a friend as I was about to hit the launch button.
She asked, "Aren't you terrified?
"Absolutely," I said, "but I'm doing it anyway."
Progress :) xxx