Its a word I often have trouble associating in a positive light.
On the Fourth of July (The United States’ Independence Day), many Americans feel pride for this country. There was a lot that happened this year that made me feel less than proud about being an American, but I am grateful for many things this country has allowed me to be such as a student and marrying the person of my choosing. However, this blog post is not my own controversial thoughts about being an American. This post is about a different kind of pride.
I am, for the first time in a long time, proud of myself.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have been proud of myself this year alone and this is the second. I should really say, that I have let myself be proud. I suppose I viewed loving myself and pride in the same light; that they were negative things that only egotistical people should allow themselves to feel. But yet again, I’m wrong. So wonderfully wrong!
Yesterday, I spent a lot time with the incredible friends I have. I spent an entire day working on a puzzle of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (which is EXTREMELY difficult, yet absolutely hysterical. I must make another blog post about it) and cooking with a couple of wonderful people, and then I was going to spend the rest of my night with a bunch of friends, a few who I hadn’t seen in too long. My night, unfortunately, was cut short by a panic attack.
I had a feeling it was going to happen. I took a nap and when I woke up from said nap, I already had to convince myself to go out. It was the usual conversation:
Me: Unh… Fuck I think I’m too tired to do this. Maybe I’m just getting hit with a depression spell again… maybe I should stay home and play Skyrim…
My Good Subconscious: ZOEY YOU ABSURD FOOL YOU ARE NOT MISSING ANOTHER FRIENDLY OUTING
Me: I don’t think I can do it though…
MGS: CHANNEL OBAMA BECAUSE YES YOU CAN
Me: But I feel depressed..
MGS: YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO SEE THESE PEOPLE FOR A FEW DAYS THIS ENTIRE SUMMER MISSY GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF THIS COMFY ASS BED
Me: But..but…Fullmetal Alchemist!
MGS: EDWARD KUN CAN WAIT
Me: But what if…
MGS: Ok look. I know. This sucks and deep down inside, you’re a little scared too.I see all these thoughts racing past me. The fireworks will make you anxious or the idea of being around so many people will make you anxious or everything will make you anxious. But I know you because…well I am you. If you don’t go, you’re going to wallow and think about shit that hurts and probably listen to twenty one pilots and you’re going to see pictures and snapchats of all of them having fun and you’re going to feel really shitty about it the whole night. Remember, you can always leave. So whaddya say, champ?
And that is how I got my sorry Dragonborne-loving ass out of bed.
My fears came true, though. Right as dinner was ending, I felt the inklings of a panic attack coming on, and despite what my therapists think, there’s no stopping the train once its in motion. Thankfully, I had a lovely dinner with my friends and they were ridiculously supportive of me leaving as well as making sure I made it to the check being placed down back in front of me.
Normally, I would go home and beat myself up over a situation like this. But for the first time in my entire life, my mind didn’t immediately go there. Instead, it was the most supportive I’ve ever had it willingly be.
I was congratulating myself on going even when I didn’t think I could mentally do it. I applauded myself for being honest with not only my friends, but to me as well. I gave myself a huge pat on the back for simply trying. I did all of that without having a single self-demeaning thought. All of these thoughts came without a negative thought preceding them and that has never happened to me before. When I stood in that steaming hot shower as my heart rate finally started to calm down, I was tired, sure, but I was proud. I was proud…after having a fucking panic attack! I know the fireworks I hear outside my window are for America, but I feel like they match the fireworks going off in my heart too.
Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?