So here I go. I am putting my thoughts onto paper for the first time in years. It has been so long since I have done this or even wanted to do this. Writing was once such an important part of my life. My love for writing started when I was very young. It was the first thing that I can remember being good at. Before I was a gymnast or a cheerleader I was just a little girl with a wild imagination.
My passion for writing really bloomed when I was in the fifth grade. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Savino and when I think back to that year in my life I can vividly recall many of her exciting writing assignments. I can still feel the excitement that would well up inside of me each week when our new assignment was handed out. Each assignment was different, but one criterion remained the same each week, if we could dream it then we were encouraged to write about it.
In middle school my love for writing grew and I began to write poetry. I wrote all of my poems in a simple spiral notebook and I carried this book everywhere I went. At night I would tuck my book of poems safely under my mattress while I slept and dreamt up my newest creations. I cherished this book so much because to me it held the secrets of my soul. In high school I continued writing my poems and enrolled in a creative writing class in the hopes that I would be challenged. This class quickly became the reason I was excited to get up and go to school each day. My teacher’s enthusiasm and passion for writing was almost tangible and poured over onto her students.
Throughout each phase of my life I always wrote in a journal. It was my diary when I was a little girl writing about my latest crush or my frustration of the week with one of my sisters. It became my journal in about the seventh grade when I felt that I was too mature to have a diary. Looking back I should have called it a diary until I was at least 22 if maturity dictated the change in name. I looked forward to the end of each day where I could write out all of my own thoughts and process the day behind me while dreaming about the days ahead of me.
To say I loved writing would be an understatement. Writing to me was an escape when I needed one, but it was also a place where I found life. I would write about school and my friends, my boyfriend or boyfriends’ (who has just one?). I would write about my insecurities along with my hopes and dreams. I would write about my fears and accomplishments as well as my struggles. Many times, through my own words, I would find solutions to life’s obstacles. Writing to me was so freeing because I found so much life and love in my words. I found strength and inspiration, I found me.
My sophomore year of college my life was changed forever. My best friend was killed in a car accident; she was just 19 years old. Through the devastation of my loss I managed to muster up some hope and strength to go on. About six months later while trying to put myself and my life back together I was blindsided by anxiety. Okay, so it was six months and exactly 7 days later. I remember the day because it was the day of my cousin’s beautiful wedding and also the day of my first panic attack. When I say I was hit by anxiety, I am not talking about the occasional feelings of nervousness or fear. I am talking about the real deal, full blown anxiety disorder. The kind of anxiety that travels down into the core of your very being. Looking back I see how defenseless I was, I never even saw it coming. I had no idea this type of condition even existed. Within hours my world came tumbling down and I lost my footing. The world I knew would no longer be my reality.
My hope was gone and my strength weakened. My writing stopped. Inside my head no longer held dreams and inspiration. Instead, inside the darkness of my mind now lived fear and despair. To write would be to admit the craziness that was taking over my mind. Desperate to grasp onto something familiar I tried to put my thoughts to paper, but very quickly this just became too hard. I could not bear to face my own thoughts.
It has been over twelve years since Nicole died. It has been almost twelve years since my first panic attack and I have done a lot of work in trying to heal and now is the time to put my thoughts back onto paper. It was just recently that I have come to realize that I have never lost hope. Hope was always there quietly pushing me and willing me to never give up. Well I never gave up and now it is time for me to do something with this journey I have taken through anxiety. I need to share my story.
Make sure to read my other posts. See the top left tab to open the menu bar. Enjoy the journey 🙂