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When I was younger, around 9 years old. My mom got seriously ill with a severe depression and later anxiety.
She was sick for a full year which led me to be absolutely terrified of losing her. I wasn’t able to sleep anywhere but next to her in the fear that something would happen to her during the night, and she wouldn’t be alive the next morning.
I stopped going to my dad’s place every other weekend, I stopped going on holidays with him, my stepmom, and her children, and I haven’t gone on any school trips that included spending the night because I was so anxious of being away from her.
I went to counselling for 2 years from I was 16 till I was 18, without feeling like it helped at all, so I quit. I felt alone, helpless, and completely lost. But at least then I knew there was a reason as to why I couldn’t do these ‘’normal’’ things, I had severe separation anxiety, which was something to cling onto.
Luckily, I’m stubborn as all hell, and I’ve gotten extremely good at pushing myself over the edge, where I would normally have stopped and backed away.
So.. My ex-boyfriend is English, and when I was 19 or 20, we planned for me to go to England alone to visit him and his family for the first time. I hadn’t been out of the country, or on any sort of longer trips away from home in so many years. I was absolutely terrified, and I had a complete meltdown in the check-in at the airport, that nearly made me cancel the whole thing last minute. Everything was new here, and I had no idea what I would see past the check-in at the airport. Through my panicky tears and shaky hands, I powered through. I managed to find my gate and I survived the trip. I was beyond proud of myself.
After that experience I kept trying to find little things to do to push my anxiety more and more. Simple things like calling people on the phone, asking for help in a store etc. but one of the biggest thing’s I’ve ever done was right before I turned 20, I pushed myself into a new education. I wanted to become a dental assistant, and I managed to get a good internship as the only one in my class. I was scared and extremely anxious about starting, but I had decided not to let my anxiety define me or my future anymore, so I pushed on.
This job at the dentist was without a doubt a big turning point in my life. I was forced to talk to strangers, comfort them when they were scared, pick up the phone etc.
I read a poster online that said “fake it till you make it”, and that’s just what I did. I pretended to be confident in my job until suddenly I wasn’t faking it anymore.
After working with the dentist for 4-5 years, I met my boyfriend, who lived far away from me, almost a 2 hour drive away!
After 6ish months of dating, corona hit and we were both sent home from work, he spent the first week with me and after that I packed a bag and my cats, and we drove near 2 hours to his place.
A few months into our corona lockdown, we decided to move in together for real. I quit my job, packed everything I owned, and we moved in together in Viborg. This was a HUGE turning point in my life, never had I imagined my life to be what it is today.
This whole move triggered my anxiety in a way I hadn’t experienced in a long time, it nearly sent me into a new crisis, because who am I, if I’m suddenly ripped away from absolutely everything and everybody I know? and then put into a new city where I know nothing and no one?
I had and still have a lot of support from my boyfriend which has helped me so much. I wouldn’t have been able to make such a drastic change to my life just a few years ago, that would have been completely Ludacris, my younger self would definitely think I’m actually insane for going through with it haha.
I was able to handle the move and huge change to my life by thinking forward – I managed to get an internship as a veterinarian nurse that started the same day as we moved into our new place. This has always been one of my biggest dreams, but I have never thought it would be a possibility for me. But I did it and here I am today.
My whole life got flipped upside down in the matters of weeks, and I still to this day am a bit confused as to how it all happened, and how I handled it. But a good confused, I think.
I live far away from my family which is really hard at times, but I try to manage. My boyfriend is great, he gives me confidence when I need it and I know he’s there no matter what. I’m working my dream job; we have an absolutely amazing apartment and we’re trying to get a dog together.
My life now is wholesome in a way, I never dreamed that it could be.
I still have anxiety, but I try not to let it hold me back. I’m 25 years old now. And I’ve grown and learned to accept that anxiety is a part of my life, but I won’t let it get a hold of the steering wheel ever again.
I’m still working out who I am now, since this was such a huge change, but with everything I’ve been through, I’m positive I’ll figure it out eventually. Meanwhile I’m just looking forward to my new life.
(Remark from Midlife-Chance: The beautiful picture was taken by Heidi Damhave.)