Friday, October 15, 2010

That was then... This is now!

one of the many roads it takes to get into the cottage 

A quiet, cozy cottage nestled deep in the forests of Northern Ontario, overlooking a serene lake where the only noise you can hear is the dropping of the leaves from the trees.  Smoke rising from the chimney throughout the day.  Warm tea, a snuggly blanket and a good book.

This is where I spent my time these last 7 days.

We finally decided this was the year we would do something we've been wanting to do for some time now, spend Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.

the view from the canoe
The weather was absolutely perfect.  The boys caught tons of fish each night they went out and had a ton of fun hunting down unsuspecting wood grouse (only to either not get a shot in or miss them completely when they did get one).  They get their desire to hunt, as well as their complete lack of aiming skills from their father.  {smile}  I managed to digest 5 books in the 7 days I lounged under my cozy blanket, complete bliss in my world.

I remember a time when I didn't enjoy this space as much as I do now.

Actually, for much of 13 years I suffered severe anxiety about being in the fabulous North.  Weird...  But not really....

My anxiety had to do with a combination of things.  Mainly I didn't like being alone.  Let me correct that, because I wasn't "alone", I didn't like being with MYSELF.  There were many times that my husband would be off doing a chore or indulging in a bit of fishing and I would be left at the cottage by myself and I would literally panic.  It began to be a problem when I would anticipate being alone and my anxiety would grow before we even left our driveway at home!

I realized this week as I journalled about my feelings now versus my feelings then and I realized some of my anxiety was also about me wanting things to be different than they were.  The anxiety and panic were my way (subconsciously) of trying to change my situation through forcing it to change.

That didn't work out as well as I had "subconsciously" planned.

The panic got worse, spilled over into every day life and had me thinking I would need to be medicated in order to function as a "normal" person, especially if I was to go on vacation.

a yummy treat
3 years ago we ventured into the North for our family vacation and I spent an entire week without one panic attack.

I do remember how wonderful it felt to be able to enjoy such serenity and time with  my family without having to constantly cry or throw up!

I wish I knew what I did differently.  In reflection I don't think it's anything that can be written down or handed out as advice.  I think I just grew into a space of no longer needing to control life.  I know for certain in the past 3 years I finally started to love myself and I gave my permission to just be, whatever that looked like in the moment I promised myself I would be okay with it and stop judging myself for it.

It seemed the minute I came to those conclusions within myself the anxiety/panic was deflated.  It no longer held any power over me.

So this trip (as with each trip over the past 3 years) I was filled with an overflowing sense of gratitude.  Not only because am well enough to enjoy it all, also because I appreciate how wonderful it is to have what we have.

Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. As I sit here and read this last post a tear rolls down my face. I am so grateful to know you personally. We all live behind masks and mirrors that reflect what we want the world to think of us and then wonder why when we are with nature we can not stand ourselves. I think this is something a lot of people struggle with and a very hard lesson to learn.
    I love you because you love yourself and you are a fabulous women, partner and mother for it.

    By you sharing your personal journey of self discovery you have given me clarity in my own life :)


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