May is Mental Health Awareness month, and while so much of what I write is often centered around care, self, and motherhood, mental health has so much to do with all of that. I’ve had anxiety since I could remember.. whether it was trauma that set it off, or if I was brought into this world with a sense of worry or nerves, navigating it has been something I’ve done for years.
There were those times when I didn’t take care of my mental health and swam through anxiety with ease. There was the time before and after Oak when so often it seemed as if anxiety kind of owned me. I seemed fine, but it dictated what I did or didn’t do. There were the times when I threw myself into therapy and worked on why was it high, when, and in what ways did it manifest within my body.
Lately, my anxiety has been something that is neither of those things or in those places, it is something that is brought on by triggers that I can often avoid and spot. It is something I know that I have, that on occasion, likes to rear its head. A huge part of me knows that so much of it’s progress is all the work I’ve done and the way I’ve managed my life. More importantly, it is the way I’ve made my personal healing a priority.
Recently on Instagram, I summed up the previous stage of anxiety to a cloud. A cloud, at once felt like something I had no matter what. A trigger is something that feels more controllable. And it it is. In so many ways.
There were many things that have aided in my healing, but one of the things I most often need to give credit to is the Headspace app, and weekly or bi-weekly therapy. These are places that I feel safe and cared for, whether if they are created on the floor with my back against the wall, or in my therapist office where I often grab for tissues as I get a good cry if needed. I created spaces for my anxiety to heal, and maybe that’s the most important thing here. Creating space for healing.
While May provides me with an opportunity to self reflect on my own progress, it also provides me with the opportunity to hep myself (and hopefully you) push past the way we see mental health. The way we categorize and codify it.
(Photo and florals by Lisa Przystup)