The Gym and Therapy Were My Saving Grace
If you were to tell someone about what happened in 2017, they wouldn't believe you. This entire year has been one big plot twist and it seems like the story will never end. I've gotten to the point where I wake up every morning expecting to hear outrageous news just based off habit. It might be because I've become numb to the craziness of the world and I've figured out a way to cope. If you would have asked me in January whether I would end this year feeling self assured, confident, and more aware of who I am, I would have laughed while crying at the same time.
2017 started out rough. A bunch of people got together and thought it was a good idea to elect a game show host to the highest ranking office sending everything and everyone into a tailspin. Not only was Tangerine Titan trying to rip apart Obama's legacy but his henchmen were determined to ruin my job. I started to panic and the thought of losing my job was starting to weigh on me.
The small ball of anxiety that I managed to keep in a corner was starting to grow and it was affecting my everyday routine. I remember not being able to sleep for a week straight which didn't serve me well considering I had a huge work trip coming up. It wasn't until I had a full fledged panic attack at 3 a.m. that I decided that I needed some help.
I contacted a friend of mine and asked where she had found her therapist because it was time for me to go. I could no longer hide my emotions and it was hard to get my friends or my significant other at the time to understand what was happening. Thankfully, the website that I used was able to match me by my insurance and I was able to find a black woman who specialized in my issues. It was the best decision I could have made for myself.
My first session with her turned out to be a turning point. I felt ashamed for crying my eyes out but then I realized that this was the release that I needed.
For someone to tell me that I wasn't wrong for my feelings and validate all my thoughts — Why did I wait so long to do this? I was able to address the root of my anxiety as well deal with some residue from my past. It also helped that I was going to the gym on a regular basis. It became more about keeping my mind at ease then actually toning my body. After a while, it became a habit and I didn't mind having a nice shape to go along with it. I just wanted to feel strong mentally and physically. I was tired of my thoughts and insecurities beating me down. By stepping out and taking control of my mental health, I felt like I had won a small battle.
Looking at this photo, I see someone who has managed to forgive their past mistakes, who embraces their insecurities, and loves their flaws. For once, I decided to give myself more yeses than no's and I'm so glad I did. As we enter the New Year, I encourage you to never be afraid to put yourself first.
Stop letting people guilt trip you into giving them all your time. The lasting effects are harmful and you owe it to yourself to get the best treatment. I spent this year reclaiming my time and you need to make sure you do the same.