It’s crazy the stuff you remember. Back in High School our Student Assistance Counselor had this poster on her wall. Whenever I was struggling, and would go in to talk to her, she always pointed to this poster and made me read it. I hated it. I hated that poster. But, it’s crazy how after all these years it comes back to me.
I read that poster so many times I had it memorized. I knew what it was saying, but sometimes, especially with how my brain works, when something bad happens, it’s easier for me to quit then to try to keep going. Even though as the poster said, “if you quit you lose.”
I know I’ve come a long way from the girl I was back then. But, my past does come back and haunt me, and I still struggle with my anxiety. It’s something I’m constantly working on, but just like anything, it takes time. And although I’m a million times better than I was back then, words can still trigger me, stress can still trigger me, honestly I have a lot of triggers. But, most of the time if I’m struggling I can hide it. And some days I can’t.
Yesterday something bad happened at work. I don’t want to relive it. I just want to block it all out. But, my brain doesn’t work like that and I keep seeing images and hearing things that were said. Echoes that just won’t stop. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces. I don’t know how to go back there and act like everything is ok. I’m afraid to face people after how I acted. I don’t like anyone to see me when I’m in an out-of-control state. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. A big part of my brain says it’s easier to just close the door and keep walking. But, that poster from all those years ago is haunting me: “If you say I’ll try then you might just win, but you have the power to choose.”
So, I know what I have to do. I can’t slam the door; I need to walk through it and keep going. I need to hold my head up and know that even though I have my problems, I’m not that scared little girl anymore. I am ok. Everything will be ok. I am strong. I rise from my ashes. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. All that matters is I never give up.
It isn’t easy. I guess no journey that’s worth it is. But I’ve already come so far in facing my demons, this is just one more step towards progress. Even though it feels like I have no control over the situation, I really do because I have the power to choose what to do next. And, even though it’s hard, I’m going to choose to try. I am going to keep going and stay strong.