“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin
As of today, I have somehow managed to stay married for 3 years. I tend to not want to think much about anniversaries/milestones because there has been an ominous cloud looming over our marriage ever since “I do”. The other day my husband asked what I had learned during these 3 years. He expressed things he had learned and how he has grown with a gleam in his eye and a pleasant smile on his lips. Meanwhile, I could only think of all the many struggles and problems we’ve encountered over the years. How my truth wouldn’t allow me to agree with his optimistic view of our life together. And how bothered I was that our truths, yet again, didn’t line up. How can he just overlook all the difficulties we’ve struggled through? Must be nice to have the good at the forefront of your mind so often. 🙄
And then it hit me. It IS nice to have the good at the forefront of your mind. It’s literally great to be able to move past the negative and cling wholeheartedly to the positive. Unfortunately, anxiety and depression have warped my mind so much that it would literally take me all day to find one good thing about our marriage to focus on and even when I find that thing, it won’t seem like it’s good enough to offset all of the bad. And that is sad, and unfortunate, and restricting, and debilitating, and not the life I want to find comfort in (because what becomes the norm, good or bad, breeds comfort). I have found so much comfort in the negative because my mind has convinced me it is the norm. So I can only see what appears to be a marriage that shouldn’t have lasted 1 year let alone 3 years, instead of seeing a growing marriage that has maneuvered through so much turmoil but is still here to tell the tale.
Anxiety tells me that it’s not safe to be optimistic about my marriage because if I let my guard/scepticism down, I will be overcome with disappointment, misunderstanding, and conflict. Depression, on the other hand, tells me that it’s not safe to hope because I am not worthy of great experiences and I don’t deserve happiness or joy. These mindsets have plagued me during the past 3 years causing me to not see the potential of what could come of my marriage or even the purpose of it. My default is set to negative. But I no longer want to identify with this mentality.
My circumstances/experiences afford me the right to view the world through a victim’s lens, but my growing desire for freedom and healing are strengthening me to choose otherwise. Day by day, my ability to hope for and be optimistic towards my life and especially my marriage grows. I am really excited to celebrate our anniversary today and will be making a point to recall and focus on the wonderful moments we’ve shared during these 3 years. While my truth is still my truth and anxious/depressive moments will more than likely still occur, I have a choice in how I allow it to shape my views on what is most important to me. And I am learning to choose a positive spin. If these mental illnesses force me to hone in on the negative, I will fight to find the silver lining. I will fight to see growth. I will fight to hope in spite of. I will fight to find and express gratitude for overcoming with my husband. I will fight to not throw in the towel even if I have moments where I fail to fight. I will fight to press on. I will fight to experience the gleam in my own eye and the pleasant smile on my own lips. Each year, I…Will…Fight!
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape” – Charles Dickens
Let’s talk…Can you relate? Do you have any affirmations/encouragement you currently speak over yourself or want to start? Let me know in the comments or send me a message on the “Contact” page! Thanks for reading!