Keeping it real: Anxiety & Stress

For a week now, I have endured an itchy, sometimes painful rash. It’s a new experience for me and when it’s finally gone, I hope to never recreate it. I’m 85% sure it’s due to stress. And it stresses me out!! Why? Because I have been extremely dedicated to self-care: meditating daily, pursuing studies in self-growth studies through Mindvalley Academy, yoga practice and weight-lifting.

The stress is due to feeling purposeless and its companion hopelessness.

I want to believe in the goodness of the Universe. I want to believe I have a beautiful purpose in life. I want to believe I can have it all – bliss and happiness and luck. I want to break through all these negative beliefs I have about myself and life.

Yet, I still feel stuck. I have moments where I think I have shifted. I have conversations with people when I feel truly inspired about what I said. I can meditate and visualize the future I want. I feel light and happy when I listen to webinars and read others’ experiences.

– DOUBT –

– Memories of past (unsuccessful / unlucky) experiences –

Then the retreat happens, receding into myself, lost in the details of making it happen; thereby allowing a heap of reactions to overtake me: shortness of breath, racing negative thoughts, pounding heart, and flowing tears because I don’t know if I believe enough.

All the while, I’m thinking, “I know what I need to do. I need to ground myself. Practice what you teach!! BREATHE in through the nose. BREATHE out through the nose. Visualize the end goal. Have faith! One day at a time.”

I don’t quite know how to express it – it’s more of a image, like the wisps of clouds collecting before a storm. Or, since I usually refer to my depression as a cloud, and my end goal is to forever disperse the cloud, it’s like the glimmers of sun peaking through the clouds, then hiding again, teasing me with the warmth and hope it offers.

All I know is that SOMETHING has to change for the better, soon.

I decided to re-pursue my career in genetic counseling. Over ten years ago, that was the plan, I loved genetics and wanted to help people. Yet, I doubt. It requires getting into a graduate program, at the age of 32, being out of school for almost 10 years, being out of the science industry for 7 years, and getting an acceptable score on the GRE. I look like an awesome candidate, right? But I feel like I am, I think I could be. It’s the personal statement, that 2-3 page document, that has a strong hold on my anxiety, holding my happiness captive. I have to eloquently explain the last 7 years of my life, and persuade the admissions committee to accept me, persuade myself that I am a worthy candidate. I have delved deep into my own psychology with therapy and crisis counseled myself out of a few dark holes and rounds of deep depression. I completed a 200-hr yoga teacher training course, beating down and building up my mind, body, and spirit. I went from unemployed and depressed to juggling four different part-time jobs, finally landing a full-time position at an optometrist office. If nothing else, I was persistent. A glimmer showers down a little warmth, but it doesn’t last. Anxiety arrives again in the form of self-doubt, not believing I’m good enough and smart enough, believing that I don’t deserve it. It transforms into fear of rejection; so wouldn’t it be easier to give up? Of course not, giving up is not persistent, yet it is so tempting and sooo much easier than jumping through all these required hoops for grad school.

My elbow and shoulder still itch, followed by the spot on the back of my calf. I give in and scratch, until it’s red and welty again. I guess it will take time for the rash, and anxiety, to fade away. I will continue to meditate every morning, and study for the GRE, and apply to grad school. I will get a second opinion about my rash tomorrow from a doctor.

I believe I have a theme for my personal statement: PERSISTENT.

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