I wanted to take this opportunity to look back at my journey now that some time has gone by. You might be expecting me to say that I am now "back to normal". And back during my panic disorder treatment I used to ache to be back to normal. I wanted time to rewind and get my life back. I wished that I wasn't at that restaurant where I had my first panic attack. Why didn't I just go eat somewhere else? Why did this happen to me? All of these things.
Not anymore. I am not back to normal, because this disorder and this journey that I went on during my recovery changed me. But you know what? I am a better person, a stronger person and a happier person because of it. I am so glad that I didn't just go back to normal. I am beyond pre-panic disorder me. And honestly, I am so glad that this happened to me. It sounds crazy right? But this disorder forced to me face my worst fears, forced me to the ground over and over. But I fought it. And I won.
Without it, I might not enjoy going out to dinner with friends as much. Not many people know what it feels like to not be able to do that. To not be able to go to a movie. But I do. And because of that, I appreciate my life so much. I stop and think about how lucky I am and how happy I am right now. You can't quite know what it feels like to be happy if you haven't been through the opposite.
The journey through my panic disorder treatment was so hard at times, and even after I stopped seeing a CBT therapist several years ago, I continued the treatment by myself well after that. I worked so hard every day. I know that after going through this, I can do anything. Absolutely anything.
So for those of you that are wishing that you could go back to normal, I will just say that once you go through this, your new normal will be AWESOME so just hang on through it, because it is worth waiting for.