Just a little perspective.

AnXiety-

You X the spot where I don’t want to be.

Even in the light, you sneak around it and make it impossible to feel safe and in the worst of situations, you completely cover it up like it never existed. Anxiety is very sneaky and I know it is coming. I am its prey.

The irony is how my insta-happy photographs do not capture everything. During one of recent joyful trips, I experienced a panic attack that left me wiping away tears, while I was hiding in the bathroom to protect others from seeing me so defenseless.

Stigma sarcastically insinuates how anxiety doesn’t have validity because we have all been through something tough and most people get over it, so anxiety launches grenades and asks,

“Why can’t you just get over it?”

“Why do you constantly act the victim?”

“Don’t you know this is your fault?”

There are moments when I can’t remember basic things and the reality is that anxiety is
wrestling for my attention because I feel mentally exhausted; there are times when it is difficult to bounce back but I am fighting trauma dating back to the day I was born.

There are instances where I check, double-check and tripple-check electric outlets just to make sure nothing bad is going to happen and then I get into my car, only to go back inside and check one more time. Anxiety just sits back and has a good laugh.

I literally have moments where I just hate the way I am feeling and I have to push through because someone is counting on me and I cannot give up or tag out or quit. I just take a deep breadth and exhale all the chaos trying to make me to lose my sh*t.

Anxiety has this way of speaking bold-face lies and sabotaging potential – potential of a job, relationship, friendship, opportunity and/or possibility. People who judge me need to reevalute their hearts, but for the people who love me, thank you for never giving up on me.

And anxiety has cruel intentions. It tries to convince me that because I failed once, I must be a permanent failure. It constantly presses me into a corner of a boxing ring that I cannot be ejected. Anxiety forces me to box my way out, but I manage to only relocate to the middle of the ring, which imagine, is not more safe at all. No matter where I stand in the ring, a fight is a fight is a fight. Arms up. Defenses raised. Heart dismantling again. Prepared to be defensive, it is hard to believe what life could be like without anxiety. Where is the peace? Where can I find a white flag?

Let me say it another way.

Anxiety has triggers. It happens to you without your permission.  You strive for constant composure and togetherness but at times it feels like everything is falling apart. It takes resilience to decide not to let self-doubt sabotage any potential of success. It takes hope to break through fear and anxiety, but over time, it can distintegrate your confidence and exhume the past. It mercilessly takes every bad decision and every lesson learned and turns it into one hell of a mental parade of ache and agony that needs deflated. I have to choose to let it go and preserve my energy.

Some may say that anxiety is all in your head and that you simply have to renew your mind, but anxiety can be a mental shredder that takes positivity and destroys it with a tsunami of dis-belief that literally reinstates untruths.

It’s not fair how a simple thing can become a very complicated something while making you feel like nothing.

This is anxiety. It kicks you in the shin and while you hold your ankle and wonder what could feel worse, anxiety kicks you in the gut and while you are hugging yourself from the pain, anxiety will show no remorse or compassion while it proceeds to kicks you in the head. Anxiety doesn’t write rain checks. It is always ready for purchase, even when the account has a zero balance.

When I post that perfect Instagram picture, just realize that picture represents all these words and a thousand more…

I cope. 

I am healing.

I am working on myself. 

Anxiety isn’t laziness; it doesn’t care if I care. It doesn’t complete an assessment to determine its path of destruction. It just comes, as an unsuspecting setback and it sucks the life out of you and tries to defeat you in the ring.

Depending on how I view myself…

I choose to let it go.

OR

I just hold on for dear life and hope it doesn’t wipe me out.

The real message:

Recovery from trauma is possible.

It is strengthened by relational resiliency, so when we fall down, we have to ask for help. And when the tears come, it feels good to have people in OUR corner. I am thankful for the compassionate people in my life that have supported me during every single battle round and kept me from complete defeat. I am surviving, thriving and arriving because I am working on my growth strategy and you can too.

I strive to lead with purpose & seek to fulfill my soul-inspired mission by helping others affirm and celebrate their journey forward.

In closing, I clearly have rough moments but I am okay. Those tough moments are opportunities to be refined, but they don’t define me!

But please check on that one friend…who you know is struggling but may not want anyone to know…

CLOSING QUESTION:

  1. How honest are you with yourself and others about your anxiety?
  2. How do you cope with your anxiety?
  3. Will you commit yourself to journaling or meditating to ease your anxiety?

Closing Affirmation:

Anxiety happens but don’t let it deter you from living your best life. And a better life may feel different a year from now, but just start with today.

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Kimberly C. Rhyan is a former foster youth and speaker/trainer/consultant who inspires/empowers foster parents, caseworkers, supporters, educators, and foster care youth/alumni to step into their future better prepared to facilitate/achieve foster youth’s successes. Please contact kimberly.c.rhyan@gmail.com in regard to booking your next event and/or consulting services.

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Breaking

Imagine the sound of a breaking glass; how does it make you feel? How long does it take to clean it up? How long do you spend making sure all the pieces are completely gone from the room?  Do you feel comfortable at all? I feel uneasy, I vacuum repeatedly and then I get on my hands and knees to make sure I haven’t forgotten any remaining shreds of glass. I want to protect my toddler from getting hurt.

Now, imagine the sound of screams; the breaking of glass and the agony of the Holocaust ripping apart families and the loss of life that followed; no one can really fathom how many hearts and lives were broken. Do you feel uncomfortable? When I watch movies like Schindler’s List, I am moved with compassion to do something today, for displaced foster youth. Movies are able to capture a glimpse, but they cannot fully place us in the same shoes that were removed just before thousands of people died together in gas chambers. If I sat through this film today, as a mother, I know I would be moved to tears, even more so,  than when I watched it for the first time in 11th grade; what I am trying to say, is that we can’t fathom what it felt like for all of the Jewish people, but it is possible to embody the spirit of those who stood up and risked their own lives to save others.

When I lived in NY, my heart expanded after I gained a better understanding of what it meant to be an advocate, I sought to help college students stand up against injustices. During my time working in Higher Education in NY, I acquired insight about Kristallnacht (also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass); November 9- 10 (just last week) marked 75 years since the night of broken glass occurred.

This post was written because tonight, I came across two instrumental people who helped save Children during the Holocaust; Nicholas Winton (he saved 669 Jewish children) and Irena Sendler (she saved 2500 children). I was brought to tears, as I sat and watched videos on youtube about these two individuals; for many years, they were unknown heroes, only known by the individual lives they touched, they went completely unrecognized for their relentless compassion. By chance, their stories were uncovered; they didn’t seek to be in the limelight. Their stories are so powerful; they made decisions in their lives to put others before themselves. That gift is transformational in so many ways…

Do yourself a favor, visit  http://thearcanefront.com/nicholas-winton-how-a-29-year-old-stockbroker-saved-669-lives-on-nights-and-weekends-2/4421
and then don’t visit (because I’ve already done the math)  Miley Cirus’ video, Wrecking Ball.

Take a second to compare the views:

1,146,626 vs.  320,786,459

Why is there such a gap? (Oh, that’s a completely different post all together)

I truly believe that both Nicholas Winton and Irena Sendler’s stories need to be heard atleast  300 million times and acknowledged, so we can take bold steps to accomplish more good in the world. For instance, instead of wasting our time giving musicians grandiose notoriety, we can support causes, such as the Red Cross who currently champion the Relief efforts for the Philippines; or we can pay attention to the statistics of children in the foster care system and think about becoming foster parents or giving an extra gift or gift card this year to foster youth during the holiday season; or we can volunteer and give our time; or we can donate our piggy banks to a charity of our choice; after all, there are so many expressions of kindness that we can demonstrate daily in our lives, it’s all a matter of priority, sacrifice and opening our hearts wide enough, to allow compassion to expand into every chamber of our lives, so we can embody the spirit of those who stood up during the Holocaust and risked their own lives to save countless children.

Your heart may break (a little or a lot), but I promise your efforts will heal hearts; maybe even your own. . .