As soon as I moved here to St. Augustine, I began coming out of my shell. More and more each day I find myself growing, getting stronger, feeling better. I’m not as anxious. I can do more on my own. I don’t feel as limited by myself or others.
It’s a great feeling.
I haven’t worked in quite some time, in part because of my location and lack of transportation, and in part because of my issues with bipolar disorder and panic disorder. I’ve been unable to make phone calls or do much on my own. I have panic attacks and simply can’t function properly.
Since moving, though, I find that I can do more. I feel less anxious. I’m starting my job soon and I am very excited. I don’t feel that terrible dread that I normally feel when doing something like this. I know I’ll still be nervous and I’ll probably make a few mistakes, maybe take a little longer to learn the job, but I’m okay with that. I’m prepared to deal with what’s ahead. I feel stronger and I know I can handle it.
I’ve been able to talk to more people on my own. I had an issue talking to someone on the phone right before moving. I felt that anxiety shutting me off again, my voice silencing. But I briefly put them on hold, took a breath and recovered quickly.
This is progress for me. It’s nothing to a normal person, but it’s life to me- actually living. I have to acknowledge the steps I take in my life, no matter how small and insignificant they seem to everyone else. I have to acknowledge that I’ve overcome a lot and that I’m doing well.
I recently had someone reject me because they didn’t think I was good enough. I’m 25 years old, not in school, working part-time at a hotel as a housekeeper, and I don’t own a vehicle. They were in college, a single parent, working full-time, excelling in all they do.
Instead of feeling hurt or ashamed as I normally would, I reacted with the thought that they don’t know where I’ve come from, what I’ve done in my life or how hard it’s been just to get to this point. Nothing they (or anyone else) can say will take away from what I know is accomplishment worthy of pride for myself. Of course I wish I was in school, working full-time and doing so much more than I am now. But that’s not the way my life worked out.
I’m proud of where I’m at and what I accomplish each day. I’m proud of all I’ve overcome and all I’m still overcoming. I’m proud of my new-found independence, even if I am living with a friend and we’re sharing responsibilities. I’m proud each time I pick up the phone and call someone who makes me nervous. I know all that I haven’t been able to do in the past and how important these seemingly insignificant steps are for me personally.
I’ve taken longer to reach this stage of my life than most people my age (even many who have endured much more than I have), but people progress at different levels. I will not be judged or deemed unworthy. I will not fight for a friendship or anything else, trying to convince someone of my worth. If someone doesn’t wish to associate with me because they think I’m not good enough, that is their problem. I’m not going to be hurt or ashamed. If they wish to confront me, I will stand up for myself, but if not, they can just move on. I have good people in my life now who appreciate me and value me. I don’t need anyone who would judge me without knowing me.
I’m loving my life here. It’s brand new, but it’s already giving me strength and courage that I haven’t had in other places. Finally having the chance to break away from people and places who have held me down is helping me grow as a person. There’s an energy here in everyone I meet, and just the town itself. I’m feeding off that energy, gaining strength and giving back. I know I’ll make mistakes, probably embarrass myself a few times, get lost every now and then, but I’ll find my way and I’ll enjoy my life.
This is a beautiful, wonderful new stage of my life and I am thrilled to share it with all of you reading this now. Thank you all for being a part of my new life, enjoying it with me, sharing in my experiences, reading my personal and intimate thoughts, fears and joys.