The Real Truth behind my Anxiety and Learning to Love the Silence

Please note : This post is personal and a tad on the deep side. I encourage you to read it because it may help someone you know. My intention for sharing is to tell the truth and I hope it reminds others know they are not alone or crazy. Thank you. 

 

There is a phrase commonly used in America and it is “I am going out of my mind”; I remember the days when my anxiety ran my life and I would repeat these words as if it were a mantra. If I didn’t stay busy with cleaning or organizing my home I would be in silence, which was about as scary as being in the dark with no flashlight. With every task I kept my mind running and spinning, I basically took it to an aerobics class every waking hour. I would rearrange my sock drawer until everything was lined up perfectly and afterwards I felt I could breathe again. I would fold laundry but I wasn’t folding anything at all, I was running story lines in my head and thinking about the next thing on my to-do list. Where was I during these moments of being in my mind? Well, I know now I was in the past or future. I did not have the capability of being in the present because that was too painful and it hurt to feel the hole in my heart. You see, I was in a marriage that was slowly dying and I was dying with it.

 

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Today, I am grateful that my anxiety has been dissolved over the last three years of intense work and assignments with my mentor, Moe Ross of Hollyhock Retreat in the Illinois countryside. After a year of introduction material and mindfulness exercises I slowly began the practice of meditation. When I first began doing my work I had a hard time focusing on what was outside my mind and in the moment. I would often cry so hard my brain felt frozen. All I wanted was for the stories to stop running and for there to be moments where I didn’t have one single thought. I spoke to many friends who said they had a pill that could take care of “it” but my heart knew that was not the answer. How was I supposed to be quiet when the rat race was taking place in my mind? It took time but one day I took a walk  in the desert with my dogs and just focused on not entering my mind. Eventually, I began to understand the purpose of meditation; it was not to reduce stress or become more relaxed although that was generally the outcome. With lots of practice, I began to feel my mind quieting and my heart opening to my real voice, the small voice within that carried all the answers. I remember the first time I felt this shift and it was something invisible and yet so palpable. In that moment of profound realization I knew I was capable of being out of my mind and for once, I felt at home. For once, I wasn’t thinking of my divorce, where I would live, what others would think of me or anything…I was just in the moment, pausing and allowing the small still voice inside to gently speak. We’ve all heard this voice at some stage in our life, some call it intuition.

 

Today, when I take a walk I am able to pass the older couple sitting on the park bench gazing out on the lake instead of power walking to get my workout in. I stop, look and just witness the love. I don’t allow my mind to wonder randomly anymore, I keep it quiet with one practice and that is: as soon as my mind wonders to a place that does not move me forward I remind myself I am HERE and the time is NOW. If I were to continue letting my mind run who knows where it would end up! As many of us know, the blessings and the miracles are in the present, they are true gifts.

 

I can now be grateful for my divorce as it took me to levels of deep pain that led me to discovering my true self. The hole in my heart has now been filled with the love that already runs through my veins. The journey has not been easy and I would not wish it upon anyone but I will say it has been profound and significant. In the moments of darkness I found the light within me. We all have it and it begins and ends with awareness. If you know someone who is experiencing anxiety please share this as it may drop a seed and with your love, it will sprout something beautiful.

 

With love,

 

Jocelyn

 

 

Image taken by Jocelyn Casey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Athena

    Jocelyn, this is truly beautiful and so insightful. It takes much courage and one must go very deep to come to this kind of realization (at least that is the case for me). I am beyond impressed by you and your strength.
    Today you have helped me, and I thank you.

    • http://thelittleroomofstyle.com/ Jocelyn Casey

      @disqus_8TlVzNCigV:disqus, I am happy to be of help, it is what makes me the happiest. Thank YOU! x

  • Anya Jensen

    Jocelyn, such beautiful words, and how true it is that if you’re trapped in something that makes you deeply unhappy, you have little time for anything else. So glad you found your true self. Good luck with everything, hope life brings you everything you desire. Much love Axx

    • http://thelittleroomofstyle.com/ Jocelyn Casey

      @anyajensen:disqus Hello gorgeous! For me, being trapped in my mind was a nightmare. I will always be on the path to finding my true self, I certainly haven’t “arrived” there yet but with each day comes a new realization and I hope this will continue as long as I am breathing. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Much love to you my sweet friend xx

  • http://www.savorychicks.com/ Anja Reimer

    Dear Jocelyn, very wise words. It’s so much harder to live in the now if you’re trapped in an unhappy situation because it just overflows your mind and overshadows everything else. It takes a lot of awareness, courage and practising to find a way out… Glad you did and wish you happier, peaceful times to come. XO

  • http://littlebigbell.com/ geraldine

    Wonderful post Jocelyn. Like you honesty and courage to do this. sounds like you’ve been through a fair deal but have managed to conquer it. xx

  • http://www.colourliving.co.uk/blog tina @ colourliving

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this for days now…. finally!

    I also once suffered from anxiety in a bad way, so know exactly what you’re talking about.
    I’ve always felt the lucky one… of course, on one hand it’s better not to have life shocks like these and cruise through life in a more gently way. I truly believe that my breakdown and it’s subsequent consequences were a blessing in disguise. It made me a much more sensitive, empathetic and enriched person!

    The journey continues every day and even after over twenty years, anxiety still visits. The way I deal with it is to welcome its lessons and know that it’s trying to make me aware and mindful of what’s going on inside. I can tend to forget sometimes… when things get busy.

    All said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad you found help. When I was going through it in the late 80’s/beg of 90’s there was no internet and not much help. I was very fortunate to have found psychotherapy which was invaluable to me.

    Sending hugs from London x

    • http://thelittleroomofstyle.com/ Jocelyn Casey

      @tinacolourliving:disqus your sharing warms my heart. Thank you for sharing your deep insight. With every story of transformation we can all learn in a loving way. I am with you, I am grateful for the experiences that led me to know more about myself. Hugs from Arizona, Jocelyn x