As a sufferer of anxiety, one of the biggest things that plagues my mind is whether or not I am in the right place at the right time, making the right decisions. As I have previously written, my fears stem from things I can, rather than cannot control. In my mind, those things I have no control over, I can’t change anyway.
It’s the things that I have the power to change that really worry me; because it makes me responsible for how my life turns out.
This was very clearly demonstrated to me during my travels and by my fear of heights. When on a plane, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I am thousands of feet up in the air. I can look down at ant like cars and Lego houses quite easily without a second thought. However, whilst rock climbing in Vietnam, I literally became paralysed with the fear over having the power to throw myself off the side of the mountain at any given moment. If I was going to die, it was because of something I did, it would be my fault, and that kind of responsibility was just too much to bear.
This fear, albeit less intense than when rock climbing, follows me around every corner of my life, where anything less than perfection can make me feel like a failure.
As anxiety sufferers know, there is a constant battle between the anxious mind and the rational one, and the trick is to realise the difference between them. Many people will often say that “doubt means don’t”. This is not the case when you have problems with anxiety as the fear constantly tries to reach to the back of the mind, find the reason for you anxiety through a trauma in your past and then turn it into reality by linking it to the present situation.
My motto for life has therefore become “don’t let the fear win”, and often, if something scares me I tend to want to do it even more. Because if I don’t, I am in very real danger of letting my mind control me, instead of me controlling my mind.
If you are currently struggling with the same ‘why am I on this road’, ‘am in the right place’ or ‘why can’t I see the path clearly before me’, then let me tell you a story that might help you relax a little.
Know that everything does eventually become clear and will make sense to you, and that everything does happen for a reason.
For a very long time I, as well as all my friends and family, asked myself what I was doing in the small dead end town, with the dead end job that I had ended up in. For months I didn’t understand my constant run of bad luck and misery and I blamed myself for not following the path I should have been on. The problem was, I had no idea which road I was meant to be on an so I spent hours torturing myself, asking God what my path was meant to be and why I couldn’t find my way to it. Yet somehow I couldn’t move myself away.
Something deep inside me was screaming ‘You’re ok! It will become clear!’
As many of you know, I am now engaged to be married to my best friend and soul mate. Had I not continued on the road that I now see was the right one, even though it felt dark and dangerous at times, I would not have reached the clearing into the light.
What I have learnt then, is that the right road is not always the easy one. You will not always be able to see the bigger picture and sometimes it’s ok not to know where it will lead. What we must learn to do is trust that things will turn out as they should, and that as long as we’re moving forward, there is no such thing as the wrong path. Because every wrong road will eventually lead you to the right destination.