When I first revamped this blog, I called it The Chad Moffett Project. It seemed a little too serious and self involved. But I am certainly approaching it, and perhaps my life, as a project. I want to get going again and to feel “unstuck.” In addressing my anxiety, I came to understand that some of the areas in my life are unfulfilling; this left me with a sense of defeat. I wrote, and then deleted, many blog posts. I thought they were too personal, revealing too much about me to others. I have since come to the conclusion that I need to write about my recovery as much for myself as for others that may find hope and healing in my journey. So, personal it will be! Last night’s walk with Chester Lee frames my thoughts this Sunday.
In fact Sundays were always the worst day of the week for me. It signaled back to work on Monday. Despite my successes in my life and career advancement, my “job” has always been a source of anxiety – whether it was when my job was being a restaurant manager, a university student, or my current position. I think in some way, I resisted changing because I was afraid of what it would reveal. Change is hard.
Is this it?
Now that I have started making some positive changes, I find that I was unprepared for the drab feeling I am left with in the absence of the anxiety. At first it was a like a familiar friend had gone missing. Sure, I still get the pangs of an anxiety attack and periods of intense worry, but I am able to better work through them and place these feelings within context. Talk myself down off the ledge to to speak. Still, the rush that anxiety produced was physically addictive. That was the first change that I had to become comfortable with – comfort in my discomfort.
A couple years on now, it has taken a while to fully alter and be flexible in my outlook and priorities and realize that anxiety does not define who I am. I don’t need to be ashamed and to put on happy face. I also don’t need to over analyze everything in my life looking for problems to solve, things to fix, and deadlined to impose.
Exercise had helped out a great deal. in recent years, I also went on a 2.5 year bout of alcohol-free living – a “cleanse.” It was a wonderful time and I am committed to returning back to this practice. I am also committed to reducing poor diet choices. I have found an extended version of The Whole 30 diet is a great baseline to work with to keep processed foods out of my diet. It is a challenge, but one that has great benefits.
If you watched the video clip of our walk with Chester Lee last night, you will know that we are know working to establish a morning and night routine of walks. This is an apt analogy. At first, Chester was quite simply overwhelmed by all the new noises and activities outside the safety of our home. He would walk a few steps and sit down. He was spooked by the barking of a backyard dog, load exhaust of a sports car, or the passerby on the sidewalk. Slowly he has come to process these new sights and sounds and normal and non-threatening. Each walk features a new experience.
As I show Chester a new bright and shinny world, he is helping me realize my choices are similar: the journey is the goal, take it step by step, seek encouragement, and approach the world with curiosity and joy.