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Today, I am starting an new series that will include powerful stories from some amazing bloggers. This series is called “Power in the Story”. I do believe that there is Power in the Story…as long as we tell it.
My first guest is Jen from Pedaling 2 the Wedding. Jen, from Liverpool, found herself cycling around the world with her fiancé and ended up getting married along the way. Now she is a Newlywed and she Blogs about travel, travel by bike and budget traveling with her husband.
Her blog is full of adventures and I find that a breath of fresh air.
Plans change, circumstances change but that’s ok. Roll with the punches and just keep on going and you might just end up exactly where it is you are meant to be!
~Pedaling 2 the Wedding
Please visit her blog and social media, I promise you will enjoy reading about all of her adventures!
Power in the Story
Behind the wonderful life of traveling with her husband, she also has a private struggle with depression and anxiety. She wants to share her story because she feels that it will help others realize that everyone struggles.
After reading her story, I am sure that you will agree that there is Power in the Story!
Living my best life but expecting my worst
Living with anxiety is tough! It’s a battle, everyday and it’s confusing.
Living with depression is tough! It’s a battle everyday and guess what, it’s really, really confusing.
I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It’s just something that’s always been there. I’ve learned to live with and I was ok with growing up for the most part. It was just something I was always aware of and what I call the anxiety ball being there.
I could probably pin point its appearance in my life if I really did some digging but that’s not the purpose of this post.
It’s just something that has always been part of my life but it has gotten progressively worse as I got older, accompanied by depression based on circumstance.
Or so I thought…
That’s what’s confusing. I think of myself as a fundamentally positive and happy person and I try to have a good outlook on life and I do enjoy it lot of the time. I smile a lot and I strive to do things that make me happy!
I’ve always put my anxiety and depression down to the bad things that have happened in my life. So I guess, I expected them to go away when there is great things happening in my life but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
Mental illness doesn’t pick and choose when to rear its head and as a good friend of mine once said ‘ Anxiety, depression and our less companionate inner voice can strike at any time’
So when it strikes when you should be having the time of your life, no in fact when you are having the time of your life, when things are going so well… well, that’s when it really hurts. That’s when it is so hard to understand it all!
Because I am very happy a lot of the time, it isn’t something that consumes me and I feel lucky about that because there was a point in my life it all went very dark for a while but I got out, I moved away and met the love of my life and we are doing amazing things, traveling the world but then out of no where it hits me and my mind races, bad thoughts are all I can think about or I find myself staring aimlessly, Completely blank.
Times were Hard
After a series of tragic events and deaths of people I love in my life, prolonged illness to suicide to sudden unexpected, unthinkable death, unfortunately I am conditioned to expect the worst. I am terrified all of the time about bad things happening to the people I love. And I always feel like there is something wrong with me. I’ve developed a kind of hypochondria and I know it’s silly most of the time. But the anxiety then manifests itself physically and sometimes I will have a rash, lumps or trouble breathing.
It’s just how I’m wired now. Constantly fearing the worst. It has me gripped and it’s something I hate. Because I can’t control it. Every time the phone rings, I feel panic. If my phone is off for a while I will start to worry about what bad news I will get when it comes on. Every time we get on a plane, a train, a bus. There is always a fear.
Then of course comes the guilt. Why do I get these sad bouts when I am traveling the world with the person who I love the most? Any ‘normal’ person would be filled with joy 24/7. But I have had some bad days. Even in the most beautiful places. It makes me feel awful for not being able to enjoy this experience 100% because it is so incredible and I know I am so lucky!
But the fact that I know all these things and I’m able to recognize them gives me hope! They won’t ruin life for me!!!
This also gives me hope because I do feel like I can recognize when I’m starting to feel a certain way and I can do things to try and help me through it. Not avoid it, which is something I have done a lot in the past. I still do, I guess to some degree. I’m always on the go and I think it is some kind of avoidance but I have recently been writing in a travel journal on my travels. Writing down all the amazing things, everything I’m thankful for but also getting down the negative thoughts and my concerns and it’s been really helpful. Just having an outlet for them.
It’s an art/doodle journal that Ive found, once getting into it, gives you prompts to write about personal things and your past. It’s been a great tool for me!
Art and travel are both good ways for me to get out of my own head, embrace life and I love them both. I would urge anyone struggling with similar issues to pick up a pen and paper and go outside to create something.
Life is tough but what I’ve said time and time again and feel so strongly about is embracing it because you never know when your time is up (my brain reminds me of this all day everyday) so it is important to try your best to just enjoy it where you can. All you can do is try your best and fill your life with people that help to build you up and the things you love 💕
Wedding Day Bliss
I had my wedding day recently! The only anxiety I felt was the nerves any bride would have on her wedding day! I was filled with pure joy all day and not a bad thought flicked through my head. I just had a smile plastered on my face the whole day. It made me so happy that I was able to enjoy my day with my husband completely 💕
I was so relieved that my mind didn’t ruin my big day!
Everyday is a new day and it may be a great day, it could be a bad day but I’m getting better at dealing with the bad days. I have the most amazing person with me and we are a great team!
I am going to go as far as I can with this journey, one of adventure, travel and self discovery!
Each new place I visit I learn things and discover about the world. I learn things about myself and I plan to continue to fill my mind and my soul with as much knowledge, culture and memories (and food) that there will be no room left for worry.
I mentioned there being a purpose for the post, well I guess that it is this… it IS ok not to be ok. It IS ok to talk about these things. Don’t let them eat you up inside, or fill you with guilt and most importantly it is normal! It is important to talk about these things. As a very wise (very stoned) man once said to me, whilst we were on a boat ride in California, “ride the wave man, all you gotta do is ride the wave!” You would be surprised to know how many of us are walking around felling just like you!
I am always here if anyone needs to talk about anything at all, at anytime. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has listened to me and helped me through each day💕
~ Jen at Pedaling 2 the Wedding
If you are interested in telling your story in this series please leave a comment below! I truly believe that there is Power in the Story…if you tell it!
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