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The internet is a funny place. Everyday I skim random blog posts and rss feeds, and take in far more information than I could possibly ever retain. But then once in a while, something makes me stop and pause, and reflect.  And for some reason, today I feel like reflecting.

Reading Sheri’s story really hit home today. I get it. I know what it’s like to juggle school and work, the pressure of looming deadlines, the overwhelming mental and physical stress, and the financial strain of grad school and health problems with no insurance. I can only IMAGINE what it must be like to deal with all of that AND raising children. My heart goes out to Sheri and her family during these challenging times.

It takes courage to reach out and admit you’ve hit rock bottom.

But, speaking from experience here – it takes even MORE courage to do something about it. I’ve seen so many people complain, complain, complain and then continue for weeks, months, even years in their same misery-inducing path. I was one of them. I complained for years while going to grad school, as my physical and mental health deteriorated from the stress. It was the worst possible time to not have health insurance. But I just kept plugging along. I thought it was just something I HAD TO DO to get to where I wanted to be.

I was diagnosed with mild anxiety disorder while in school. I always had mild anxiety; it just got SO MUCH WORSE in grad school. As it turns out, writing papers and taking timed tests will throw me into full-on hyperventilating, heart palpitating panic attacks. The crazy thing is, that I always did **amazingly well** once I got through them – it was just the pressure of time, and the fear of not being perfect enough that would get me every time.

I’ve learned that whenever I have major, reoccurring anxiety attacks, if I just remove the trigger from my life, they go away. Grad school was the biggest trigger that I’ve ever dealt with. I only wish I had removed it sooner!

Leaving school and putting a halt on your dreams is TOUGH. But honestly, leaving all the stresses of school behind has been THE best decision I’ve ever made. The blessings I’ve received since making this fateful decision are too numerous to count.

My advice to Sheri: Make new goals and charge ahead. Prioritize your health and happiness (without your health, you can’t do anything!!), and your family, and God will provide the rest. It won’t be long before you’re able to stop and smell the roses, and appreciate all the unexpected bliss that surrounds you once more.

Peace and love,

Heather

P.S. If you’re interested in entering a giveaway for a camera, go on over here.  If you’re in a charitable mood, donate to help her get through these trying times.  Try it! Helping random strangers feels nice.

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