Living in neutral

Self-imposed anxiety. A character trait I’ve only recently started uncovering in my brain.

When my mind is idle, I create things to worry about. Like it’s something to keep me busy when I’m bored.

Image result for anxiety

In the past, I have suffered from depression, OCD, and an eating disorder– mental states that made chaos and anxiety feel “normal.” Days, weeks, years went by where stress and anxiety just became part of my day to day life.

Stress became the foundation of my waking hours. As normal as oxygen. As normal as a heartbeat. As normal as blinking.

Fast forward to now. I’m in a much more stable brain-space (thank you journaling, drawing, exposure to challenges, and God) and have discovered a lot about HOW my thoughts develop.

When faced with boredom or stress, I find I’m easily tempted to revert back to my old “normal.

Anxiety was my identity for so long, that sometimes I feel bizarre without it. Living in a “neutral,” peaceful state sometimes feels wrong; almost like I have to create something to worry about in order to feel like myself.

I know it sounds weird, but if you’ve suffered from mental disorders, you know how comforting those old ways can be when you’re faced with indecision or stress…even if those old ways are self-destructive.

Picture hiking in a foreign landscape. You slip on some rocks and find yourself holding on to the edge of a cliff.

DSC_0459

In this scenario, you wouldn’t have time to think. Adrenaline would be pumping, ‘fight or flight’ would kick in. Without wasting time or energy to think, your primitive brain would take over.

Through countless life experiences, you’ve exposed your brain to safe and dangerous objects. In the chaos, your brain would hone-in on anything its identified as “safe” or “familiar”– footholds, ropes, stable rocks, you name it.

What your brain labels as “safe” will be the default response in chaos.

So going back to anxiety–

Old behaviors may still be identified as something familiar/safe, and out of habit, the behaviors become a foothold in chaos.

The key is to force our brains to “unlearn” those norms. 

Image result for brain comic

In stress or idleness, I’m now relinquishing my former default responses.

Ironically, creating more anxiety used to give me a sense of control. Now I’m realizing it only made me more stressed. Day by day, I’m learning how to navigate these thoughts and redefine old patterns.

It’s hard making the active decision to be happy. It’s hard living in the neutral. But I’d rather fight anxiety than make my life wayyyy more complicated than needed.

Highs and lows are part of every day human life…but there’s no need to create more lows than necessary just because some little voice in your brain is trying to convince you that it will make things better.

Related image

As I’m navigating through my twenties and learning more about who I am, I’m finding it easier to embrace that peace, thrive in neutrality, and soak up times in my life when NOTHING is going wrong. 🙂

And with that, I’m off to enjoy my day! 😀 Hope you enjoy yours, too!!

I leave you with a few questions–

What old norms are you trying to redefine in you noggin? Do you battle with living in neutrality?

YOOOO

I’m back!

After taking a 2ish year hiatus from the blog world (oops haha), it feels really great to be writing again. Some of you may remember me as “The Globetrotting Guppy”  or “The Freckled Lifter” from what seems like a century ago.

I guess life got in the way of writing.

So what happened since I last blogged??

I completed a post graduate diploma in geology (marine paleontology) last year in New Zealand and got a job working near Glacier National Park in Montana. I’ve been loving the serenity of the mountains!! Buuuut, I admit, Texas will always be my home.

Well, as fate would have it, next month I’m moving back to the big T and pursuing a physical therapy assistant program.

You may be asking…WTF Alex you’ve already completed 5 years of college, WHY would you ever want to return?!

nerd-spongebob

Well, I took two Anatomy courses at the community college near my job in Montana during the summer, shadowed at a few PT offices, and discovered, HOLY TOLEDO.

THIS. IS. WHAT. I. WAS. PLACED. ON. EARTH. TO. DO.

I have never felt so complete, so excited and so in love with a career field. Helping people feel better, improve, and be able to live life is beautiful. And there’s something about Anatomy and Physiology that just clicks with my brain. The human body is downright fascinating, mysterious and compelling! I’m pumped to pursue this next chapter.

If I hadn’t come to Montana, I would’ve never discovered this passion. It’s been a bumpy ride, but I’m so thankful to God for this eye-opening journey.

Other than that, I’m still weightlifting and bodybuilding, hiking, being weird, and exploring the wonders of this world every chance I get.

Welp, I think I’ve taken up enough of your eyeball’s time, so I’ll end with this…

I’m PUMPEDDDD to get back to posting again!!

(p.s. Thanks in advance to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read my rambles. Y’all rule 🙂 )