I used to have this vision of someday being free from anxiety. All the pressures of my life would fall away, and I would remain, calm, cool, and collected.
When I first realized that there would ALWAYS be something to stress over, no matter how “together” I got or how hard I worked, I was devastated as this promise I’d made to myself turned out to be a lie. This dream I’d held close and looked forward to for years was a figment of my imagination.
Through this, though, I found a new freedom. A freedom of knowing that while there will always be outside forces stressing me out, I can cultivate my own peaceful inner garden. I can learn how to manage my anxiety, avoid stressful situations, reach out for help and fall back on helpful habits. I can learn to live with my anxiety instead of be ruled by it.
There is no magical place you’ll be transported to after so many years of therapy or so many tablets of Xanax. You will still be here, on this imperfect world, facing new stressors every day. But what also comes with it are the purple sunsets, the dinner with loved ones, the cuddles from a cute cat. Amongst all this anxiety, there is goodness, and just as stress will never go away, that goodness will never go away, either. It will be there, waiting for you to remember it, waiting for you to embrace it.