Towards the end of high school and beginning of college, I began to experience debilitating panic attacks. It was all I could do to walk out the door to face another litany of frightening experiences. And I don't mean getting hit by a car or falling in front of a bus. What caused my heart to race and hands to shake was the simple every day tasks for most people: walking down the stairs, driving on the interstate, going to the grocery store. I spent my time at various psychologists until I found one wonderful woman who helped me learn what I had and how to deal with it (drugs and therapy). For me, it didn't make sense because I had wonderful childhood, good friends, and pretty much all I could ask for except for one thing. I couldn't make my brain stop screwing with me. No matter how many times I tried to convince it that everything was fine, it would. not. listen. Off and on through my twenties, I experienced episodes which caused me to quit my job and ultimately have a nervous breakdown. Fortunately, with the help of loved ones and the pharmaceutical industry, I regained a sense of normalcy. In the last seven years, I have felt better than I ever have. I have the coping skills I need and a great network of family and friends.
Enough about me, more about BipolarLawyerCook. Please check out her post about dealing with emotions that appear impossible to rationalize. I remember many a time trying to talk myself out of my absurd thoughts and knowing full well they were irrational and yet being hopelessly unable to do it. She expresses beautifully how hard it is to change what is going on the mind when the rest of you know it just ain't right (my words, not hers, she's more eloquent). It's tough for those around you who want you to snap out of it but you just can't. I know this from being on both sides. So there you go. Head on over to BipolarLawyerCook where you will find a lot of other great posts on everything from food to the daily goings-on in her world.
One of my favorite bloggers is Kelly Ferry from Her Able Hands. She writes with great insight and I typically feel like I learn something from her. I decided that each week I would pick a favorite post that touched me in a particular way and describe why I felt moved by it. This week I selected A Sense of Place. In this post, she describes the sense of home and what it means to her. Her words spoke especially to me because I have been feeling this way for quite some time now. The Prof and I realized some time ago that we don't really feel at home here. We try, but it is hard. We miss the mountains, the sense of community and outdoorsy-ness of our neighbors, and the good old liberal progressive politics of some of our prior addresses. I think we have come to the conclusion that if possible, the time might come to move on. Certainly we can be happy whatever place we reside; however, we only have one chance on the globe. Why not find a place that gives us peace and a sense of connection to our community.
Kerry wrote the feeling in my heart so much better than I ever could. For a good read, I recommend checking her out not only for that post but for all sorts of great ideas about food, gardening, and life in general.
Now. Please. Schnozzfest expresses the exact same way I felt when I moved here. It is an excellent piece. I dare say brilliant. I will link it throughout this brief post because I am providing you with numerous opportunities to GOREADIT. And it is somewhat of a coincidence because when I walked into work this morning, I thought about how happy I felt now and how a year ago I felt miserable, alone, unhappy, and practically hopeless. Now I am content, happy, and enjoying the path my life has taken. I feel more empowered by the choices I have made and delighted that I have made some really fantastic friends here who I would not trade for the world. Although I always believed one should make the best of where one is, I do not always take that advice to heart. When I lived in Salt Lake City, I spent a whole year and half miserable about living there. I ended up depressed and spiraling out of control into a world of anxiety and hopelessness. Eventually I sought the help I desperately needed, took control over my happiness, and lived my life in the moment. Again, I found myself doing that here. I complained, sulked, and bitched about what a miserable boring town this was. And then I realized I do have control over my happiness so I got off my self-pitying ass and made positive changes.
So today I smile for me, my life, my friends, my home, my family, and all that I make good around me.