There is always a bright side.

What I learned about life when I got laid off:

Things never go as planned, I’m sure many of you can relate. But there is more to it than that. Things never go the way I want them, but they do happen the way they’re supposed to.

A few years back (2014), I started having anxiety. I’m not sure what caused it, but after talking to a few professionals, it was something that had been there for a long time and just bubbled to the surface, like a dormant volcano awakened and endlessly and uncontrollably erupting.

For the first time I think in my whole life I thought to myself, “why me?” “Why had I enjoyed so much of my life and how could I be dating such an amazing person and have a great group of friends and be panicking and having these weird episodes that were just irrational.” And then I was reminded, “everything happens to everyone.”

I was working at a church at the time, running the social media, gathering stories to share from those who had witnessed Christ in their lives and I would think to myself, “I work at the best place, I hear how awesome God is…” But then as time passed, I would hear how people lost loved ones to cancer, about divorces, deaths of children and I’d think, man, I’m so lucky.

Yet, I still dealt with this weird thing. It was hard to put into words. Many times I felt like no one would understand. But for the first time, my now husband, then boyfriend made me realize I’m not broken and I opened up to him. I started being honest with myself, with my friends and finally sought counseling.

Honestly, if we’re talking about honesty, it’s the best thing you could do for yourself, just be honest. So that brought me through the next few months, I got engaged, we stressed through the wedding planning process. I went through the doubts part after getting married. And then one weekend my parents came to stay with me while husband was out of town. And that’s when my anxiety exploded, I cried in my mom’s arms and told her I was messed up, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I didn’t know what I had all these negative thoughts and doubts about every aspect of my life. And she reminded me I was human, she reminded me why I fell in love with my husband and why I promised to love him for a lifetime, and she gave me an important piece of advice, “go see a doctor. It could be a simple chemical imbalance.” So, that Sunday I let my walls down, I cried to husband and said… This is what I need to do. Little did I know God would be taking the reigns for a while.

The next day, Monday, I got laid off (June 30,2015). In the moment it felt overwhelming, but looking back it was the best thing for me at the time. Having a job fueled by social media, only added to my anxiety at the time. After talking about the layoff with my family and praying about it, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to work on myself. To get down to the root of my anxiety, to talk with my doctor and to be vulnerable.

I took the hardest step of my life, I sought out a biblical counselor and the rest is history.

It’s July 2017, two years later, and over the last few years I’ve learned what triggers feed my anxiety, what foods increase my anxiety and have been on a low dose of medication to help balance my serotonin levels.

I find myself happier with-in and not allowing my happiness to be based on my current situations.  I’ve placed my hope in God and have placed my marriage, in His hands as well.

I’m not saying I’m cured, but I just want to be encouraging to those who feel trapped, who live in worry, fear and overwhelmed with debilitating thoughts; there is hope.

In the past few years, we’ve lost so many amazing actors, singers, athletes and the average person to self defeating actions. If this honesty can help someone to just start talking about the way they feel, it’s a start.

I’m still in progress and always will be. But I look forward to the future now, I also enjoy living fully in the present and I’ve learned to slowly let go of my past. Being present is the most important in all of this, because if you allow yourself to dwell in the past or worry about the future, your present will surely erode.

So, cheers to better days, brighter mornings, star filled nights, and more enjoyable moments.

XO, Marissa 

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