Coffee Talk: Progress is your most important capability

I was originally planning on putting up another blog post in my travel series this week, but then something happened and I no longer felt like writing about a subject as simple as that.

That’s the thing though, sometimes things happen in life that you don’t expect, and when those things do occur, you need to learn how to adjust to the situation.

I’ve contemplated starting a new series called “Coffee Talk,” which will basically allow me to write about anything and everything that randomly pops into my head and isn’t planned. So perhaps this will be the first one.

I’m not even quite sure where I’m going with all of this, but perhaps we’ll just see where it takes us.

I no longer want to give into my anxiety and allow it to be an excuse as to why I can’t be there for other people. I had learned how to control it for a while – with some attacks in between, yes – but for the most part, I was in control. And then something happened that caused another attack, only this time, it was a lot worse than it was in the past. And that’s because there were so many other elements involved in this one situation.

I no longer knew how to control it. This situation was new. It was something I hadn’t prepared myself for, and perhaps the worst part, I wasn’t the only one involved.

When an anxiety attack like that has occurred in the past, I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. I could focus on me and make sure I was getting a handle on things again, and figure out everything else for myself.

Throw another person into that – someone that you love and care deeply about – and it immediately becomes a situation where your mind doesn’t know who to give attention to.

For me, it caused me to focus on myself and neglect how much I should have been making sure that that other person was okay. I went from dealing with anxiety about my own role in a situation to then anxiety that I was feeling as a result of not being there for someone else. I felt terrible. How could I make that mistake? How could I not push my own issues, that were so minuscule in the grand scheme, aside?

The thing with me is, when I make a mistake, I beat myself up about it. And trust me, I am most certainly doing that. I don’t recommend it. It’s something I’m still working on.

But after thinking about it, and realizing how much I let anxiety and being overwhelmed win, I’m making my most conscious effort to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

I’m not sure where to begin.

The one thing I do know is that negativity isn’t going to get me anywhere, and it’s certainly not going to help the people around me.

My anxiety isn’t going to win. It can’t. It’s going to drastically hurt not only myself, but the people around me who need me. And I’m not saying you have to be there for everyone all the time. That’s not realistic. It’s not always possible. But as much as I can, I’m going to be there and find a balance between making sure that I’m okay, and making sure the people I care about are, as well.

In the end, I’m going to be more upset I didn’t look out for them than I ever was if I didn’t look out for myself. That’s the way I am. I care a lot about the people in my life, especially if they’re someone extremely special. And trust me, the person I neglected in this situation is, and that’s why it hurts so much.

Just over a year ago was when my anxiety started. I’ve realized how much progress I’ve made, and I’ve also realized the areas I’ve failed in getting better at. But it’s something that I’m going to deal with for a while, and quite possibly the rest of my life.

But the one thing I always remember is, “You are both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

Progress is powerful and you are so capable of making it, whether it be small steps or leaps.

The only thing I care about in terms of it is making progress, and making sure it’s not hurting the people around me. And this is just another stepping stone. Another page to that chapter of my life.

But it’s not going to win. I’m going to figure it out. For me, for the people I care about. So that this doesn’t happen again. Because wow, it is one terrible feeling, but it is only that much more terrible if you don’t learn from it.

And I sure as hell plan on it.

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