Sunday, September 30, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: Facing Tough Times

My wife left me 3 days ago. I won't bore you just yet with all the details, but needless to say these are some really trying times for me. But there's always a silver lining to every dark and stormy cloud.

I have finally come to be fully grateful for my battles with anxiety. They prepared me for this, thoroughly. I always said to myself (during the hardest times) that when I came out of the other side of that dark tunnel I would be infinitely better for it. This thought was my guiding light. Seeing that vision come to fruition is infinitely satisfying. Let me explain.

This is as rough a situation as I could imagine. I was with my wife for 8 years. We were married for over 2 years (happily, I thought). This loss of my lover, wife, and best friend has been hard. I won't lie. There is no amount of positive thinking that can make this situation happy. Divorce is an ugly beast.

I did some rash things that I deeply regret during those first few days. I'm going to be honest. But not as rash as I could have been. My head really was not in a good place at first. It took a few days for me to get control back of who I really am, and to stop letting the situation change me.

But now I'm amazed with myself. Proud of myself. I'm now the person I always secretly looked up to. The person who handles stressful situations calmly and with dignity. My wife is one of these people. That is part of why I fell in love with her. I have a new perspective and it feels good. I feel that my battles with anxiety prepared me for this and allowed me to get through the depression stage of break-up more quickly. And now that the fog of sadness has left me, I am able to be me again and act with purpose. I am determined to better my life.

Initially, I was worried about my lack of emotion and reaction to the situation. It just takes time for these things to set in though. The tears did come. The sadness did come. It's tough for sure, but not nearly as tough as it could be and this is a direct result of the positive thinking strategies that I've used to get my anxiety disorder in check. I've learned to see the positive side to every negative. I've learned that how I feel in a situation is NOT a result of outside factors, but rather dictated by how I react to the situation. I can choose how I react to the outside factor in the situation. I cannot control that factor itself. By focusing on what I CAN control, I am able to achieve control over the situation. It's a beautiful thing really.

 They say everything happens for a reason. I think anxiety came into my life to strengthen me and prepare me for tough situations such as this. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. I'm a stronger person than I was prior to all of this and for that I am eternally grateful!

"Sometimes, that's life when you see a dark road up the way,
and sometimes that's life when you gotta roll through anyway."-311