There is Light in the Dark

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hey Babes! I have been a little AWOL for the last couple weeks, but this girl is back! I have been toying with multiple post ideas for my first Chaos and Concealer post since returning to the normal me! I feel like the best way to return to my beloved blog-life, is to just talk about finding light in the darkness. Which, with anxiety, can sometimes seem impossible! (Trust me, I was just there)

Early last week, my step-mom left us to be with God. She was young, and it was unexpected. I got the call, packed a bag, and flew out to New Hampshire to be with my family for a week. And in that week I just felt...empty. I took my laptop with me with the hope that our struggle, outpouring of love, and togetherness would inspire me to share with you beauties. But that didn't happen.

Instead, I found myself lost, feeling empty, angry, confused, and acting as a rock for my Dad. When I would start to think about everything, my anxiety reveled in it. Rather than being able to focus on one emotion and one question at a time, my brain would stir at a million miles a minute and I would be left with more anxiety, questions, and emotions than I knew how to process. Some really heavy shit!

I learned so much about my step-mom that I wish I had understood when she was alive and with us. I learned good and bad things, and it was incredible. I was able to truly understand who she was. I saw her art, the impact she had on others, and the home she built with my father. What was a sad, emotional trip, was also enlightening.

My step-mom struggled with anxiety, Lyme Disease, and other issues. And, while my time with my family was as wonderful as it was daunting, I figured out what it is that drives me to be passionate: issues that people don't know enough about, and those struggling don't know how to deal with.

I'm not going to pretend like I know what it is like to live with Lyme Disease, because I don't. In fact, I didn't have a clue. But I do know what it is like to live with anxiety. I know how confusing it can be for everyone, that doesn't have to live with anxiety, to try to understand what we feel and what the hell we are talking about (50% of the time). I've explained, in previous posts, where my brain goes when I begin to have an anxiety attack - and, no matter how damn eloquently I put it, not even my husband can fully understand. And that is so okay!

If you are reading this, it is either because you have anxiety and are trying to figure out how to pull yourself out of a dark place, OR someone you love has anxiety and you are trying to figure out how to help them come out of their dark place.

My first suggestion is to talk. It doesn't matter if you feel like you sound crazy, or the person you're talking to doesn't completely understand. Just talk. Your brain is going a million miles a minute and it is taking you on an emotional roller coaster - the really terrible roller coasters that give you whiplash. You need to express yourself, and as much as it may suck, you need to cry and scream and talk just as fast as your mind is moving. Grab your person: your best friend, your significant other, your mom or dad, whoever. Figure out who your person is, the person you are the least bit worried about judging you, and tell them you need to talk. Tell them to let you lay it all out there and then maybe have a discussion after. Seriously, start talking about the primary topic that has been causing you to feel like you're spiraling, and it will all flow out of your mouth like a solid stream of projectile word vomit.

Next, find something that you can put all of your anxiety toward. Figure out an outlet, or multiple outlets. For me, its working out and focusing on topics I am passionate about (and then writing about those topics). Working out allows me to not think and just do. And writing allows me to do research and channel my ever-moving mind to swirl facts and such about one topic around until I have a completed blog post. Find your outlet. It could be dancing, painting, kickboxing, writing, volunteering, etc.

Focus on taking care of yourself. This one is just as important as the other two. You are important and you need to be able to practice self care. I can't stress it enough, self care is everything. How can you be expected to fully function if you are running on empty? Put time into yourself. Something as simple as taking a longer time getting ready for bed (shower, moisturizer, face wash, stretches, etc.) is gold! And be sure to work in some positive affirmations while you're performing your nightly routine. I know, telling yourself nice things - especially when your anxiety is making your brain do the opposite - may feel stupid and dishonest, BUT IT IS NOT! Tell yourself that you are a strong, beautiful woman, over and over until you find yourself thinking it without realizing it.

And finally, know that there is always light where there is darkness. Know that you can overcome any and all darkness. Be willing to ask for help if you need it. I am here, and sincerely offering myself as an outlet for you. I may not know you, but I will stop anything and everything to be an ear for you to word vomit into. You are not alone.

 Love Always, 
                        Kaitlyn B

*Photo by Subhayan Das on Unsplash - Edits by Chaos and Concealer

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