This picture was taken while I was enjoying my morning coffee. God’s perfect canvas.
Four years ago, I was in rehab. learning to stand and walk after my Incomplete SCI. Today, I am blessed to be on my first long distance family vacation. Surprisingly, I almost decided not to go as my anxieties grew to overwhelm me and that would have been tragic.
The thought of traveling with a walker, being able to get through the airport, board the plane, and relinquishing my walker to the airline and hoped that it arrived safely was scary. Additionally, I grew concerned about things such as: sleeping accommodations, pain, and whether I would ruin the family excursions due to my lack of mobility and using my walker on the beach. Although these may be valid concerns, focusing on them continually became debilitating.
As these feeling grew it also affected my behavior causing me to anger easily and forgetting to do things with love and kindness. I am lucky that my husband holds me accountable even if I do not like to hear it. Giving me the opportunity to change my behavior and ask for forgiveness. Life is short and overcoming these feelings leads to greater opportunity and happiness.
In those suffocating moments, I ask God to take my anxiety away and flood my thoughts with all the possibilities that I would be afforded. I then invoke the help of others asking them to pray for me as well. Lastly, I focus on my thoughts so that when the negative ones try to creep in, I immediately stop them and reframe them into positive ones. For example, if I start feeling like am I may ruin our planned outing, I reframe the thought into I am going to have a great day with my family.
Overcoming anxiety is never easy but learning to reframe your thoughts is an important step in aiding to combat it. Remember for every negative thought there is at least one positive one to replace it and focus on. Looking forward and seeking out the new adventures aids us to keep moving forward and overcome our fears and anxiety.