You might look at this title and be like “Kay u ah ryt there? What beauty?!” Just stay with me here and let me explain.
As far as my recovery goes, every kind of mental health illness I was labelled with and come out the other end (like eating disorders and body dysmorphia), they brought me things I’m actually really grateful for. I’m now able to actually appreciate my body for what it is, a beautiful vessel, that works FOR ME. I’ve gained appreciation for it, that has noting to do with how it looks but so much more of how it feels and how it let’s me experience the world around me.
So, agoraphobia. It still is something I’m very much dealing with. And, also the thing that I denied, couldn’t accept and was ashamed about the most! Like, I used to be able to travel, around Poland, around the UK, sleep on the trains, get on public transports and go to places I wanted to go. To then, not be able to do any of those things, being room/home bound felt as if I was missing out and even more than that, I felt so ashamed of it.
“You’re still young, you should be more out there!” It’s one of the most common thing I would hear, from people who obviously never experienced anything like agoraphobia in their life. And I get it, it’s hard to explain and know what someone goes through until you personally experience it.
What I eventually realised was, that even when I used to be able to do alll those things, I never actually fully enjoyed them because ANXIETY. So what that I traveled and did all those things? Yes, I pushed through my ‘comfort zone’ and still did things while having extreme anxiety. But one crucial thing I was missing, was actually knowing how to deal with anxiety.
Back then, I had zero knowledge about any mental health issues, or understood why for majority of my life I felt the way I did. I had my first panic attack when I was about 10 years old and up until being about 20 years old I struggled sooo much not knowing how to cope with it all. And I did the best I could, with what I had, which mostly was running away from it and numbing it.
For some people who are recovering, it can be about remembering the last time they felt good or not as anxious in their life. For me, I don’t remember or have many memories when I felt like that. Something, I also used to beat myself up for.
But now I’m seeing it more as a big learning experience.
I’m learning that I don’t need to be anxious all the time or feel unsafe. I’m learning to feel more peace especially at situations I was not able to feel it before. I’m learning to ground myself and not let the anxiety become who I am. I’m learning to be so much more mindful, of myself, my emotions but also the people and my surroundings.
I’m actually seeing the BEAUTY in this world, in the nature. Something, I wasn’t even able to experience much even a few years ago, while being a huge ball of anxiety.
I’m finding so much appreciation and gratitude for my life and the way it has turned out so far. I’m able to see the lessons and I’m grateful for how they’re helping me to grow.
I’m actually feeeeeling grateful majority of the time, not just saying it. Sometimes, I feel so grateful with all the love and kindness I’m showered with, it can be a lot and actually so overwhelming. But even that reminds me, of the part that’s still hurting within me, maybe my younger self, that doesn’t think she’s worth of all of the good things in her life. And I remind myself that that’s okay, I’m still learning.
I’m learning to be more kinder to myself than I have ever been before. I’m learning that all the pain I’ve gone through/go through has such a bigger purpose. Because of it, I’m able to connect with so many other beautiful souls and actually help them.
I’m learning that even though I may not be able to go or do every opportunity I am given, once I’m ready, there will still be opportunities out there. I’m learning that this is an important part of my journey, and even though I can’t supposedly do some things, I’m continually working on myself, every single day.
I’m always learning to quite that monkey mind, and whenever I think I got it figured out, life throws in a challenge and I’m reminded of the beautiful process of growing and the importance of investing in my mind.
Agoraphobia has allowed me to stop running from myself and slow down. It’s helped me to find out what I’m actually passionate about. It’s helped me to realise how driven and determined I actually am.
And it helps me to find the love and acceptance towards myself and my journey.
Thank you agoraphobia for being my teacher.