Change for me has become frightening, something that often makes me anxious even when I'm excited. Other times it can be hard to feel excited about change when I am overwhelmed with anxiety. I have often felt guilty for feeling this way. I should be excited about vacation or about moving or about meeting new people or trying new things, but often I have anxiety even just thinking about it.
I used to be excited about change and confident that I could handle any new challenge that came my way. So, what happened to that confident me who embraced change? For a moment I was sad as I thought about this, what happened? But then I realized everything I've been through.
Ever since I was 18 and left home, I haven't even lived in the same apartment for more than six months. In the midst of that, I gained and lost a lot of close friendships in a short amount of time. I also lived in many different states, different homes, and even went to different countries. Looking back on it all I realize how much I've been through and now it makes sense why the mention of change causes me to panic.
Everyone around me moved on so fast and expected me to do the same. And I tried. I tried to stay positive and embrace the change, but over and over it would get to me, and I would break down. Then I would feel guilty for it and not know how to deal with it.
I wrote off my trauma thinking it's not that bad, so many people have it worse. No one really abused me or assaulted me, so I just ignored my pain because it didn't make sense or wasn't worthy of being considered and addressed.
I think many of us struggle with the same, ignoring our pain and trauma, feeling guilty for it, rather than listening to ourselves and what we need. I realized it wasn't that I don't like traveling and seeing new places, it's that I need stability. I need a home.
A home is meant to be a familiar place, with familiar people we trust. A place of safety where you can rest and recover from all the stresses of the world. A place of peace and love and safety. For so long I hadn't had constant friendships except for my husband. I hadn't had a constant familiar place to call home. Luckily I'm celebrating one straight year of living in Florida, and that at least has brought some stability.
We all need homes where we can grow and dream and heal. I'm thankful that Florida has been that place for me after a long journey. I can go to the same parks every day. I can go to the beach that I know. I'm even meeting familiar faces now.
It's not easy, but it's helpful to know why I feel what I feel and that it's okay. It makes sense that I felt anxious about change and now I can be understanding of myself and give myself the stability and comfort I need. I'm proud of myself for the ways I have seen improvement. I was terrified of meeting with new people, but I pushed through my anxiety and met with a violin group after weeks of putting it off. Now I see the same faces every week and get to play music with them, and that has been so healing.
Whatever traumas you have faced, you don't have to feel guilty that you're still picking up the pieces. Be understanding of yourself and be patient. There's no rush to have it all together, but slowly over time and with lots of love and understanding, we heal.