The past four months since my last post have flown by while I sit here with so many good intentions of posting and several topic ideas. As I enjoy a quiet morning and a warm cup of coffee, I hardly know where to begin. A new year is just around the corner, and I am eagerly anticipating 2019 and the potential it brings.
Many of you know that I struggle with depression and anxiety, and while my depression is well-managed at the moment, my anxiety seems to soar every day. A sent text message, a bridge with low guardrails, a stack of papers to grade, my pending student loans – these are just a few of the (quite literally) thousands of things that can trigger shortness of breath, the inability to concentrate, and an overwhelming sense of doom. Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to have access to healthcare, and with that a primary care doctor that has helped me find the right medication to help manage my anxiety and panic attacks. However, there it is, rearing its head in the most unexpected and unwelcome moments.
That said, I am genuinely excited about 2019. Uneasy about paying student loans? Yes. Concerned about doing my best as a teacher? Absolutely. Curious about what the future holds for me? Of course. However, all of those things are just that – things. While 2018 takes a bow, I welcome 2019 with open arms. Here are just a few reasons why:
- I am a homeowner! A little over 12 months ago I started this journey, and many times along the way I was discouraged and disappointed. But here I am, blessed far beyond what I deserve, living in the absolute best house in Louisiana.
- I will start counseling next week. Don’t worry – I’m okay! – but I want to learn to better cope with stress as well as work towards being medication-free eventually. The last time I was in counseling was my senior year of college, and it was the best thing that happened to my mental health.
- I continue to love my job – the school where I am as much as the career I have chosen. Teaching fulfills me, challenges me, and motivates me in a way that nothing else does. I have wonderful students, equally wonderful co-workers, and as I drive to work – often watching the sun rise over Lake Pontchartrain – I look forward to the day ahead.
- I am an active member of an intentional, growing, thriving local church community. I am spiritually fed and challenged weekly, and I am called to serve and held accountable by my brothers and sisters in Christ.
- I am loved. God has always – and I mean always – provided me with loving friends and family members, though sometimes my own battles with mental health cause me to momentarily lose sight of that. Through it all, however, my friends and family members love me, show me patience and affection, help me to grow, and bring a great deal of meaning to my life.
Joy is a choice, one that is made not once but a thousand times over. Happiness is temporary, but I am thankful to feel both right now – joy and happiness – and excitement at what the new year will bring.