My 21st birthday is tomorrow (the 19th). I have been thinking about what I wanted for my birthday for a while, and on top of that saw a post that prompted this thought:
If you had one day without your illness, what would you do?
Honestly, even just the thought of having a day without my anxiety makes me emotional. The reason it makes me emotional is that I would want to do such simple things. Things that other people do every day. So this post is dedicated all to this one question, and this one “dream” day.
Before the Day
If I knew that tomorrow I would wake up with no anxiety, I would do a few things today. First of all, I would call all of my family and Spencer’s family and tell them to take off of work/school tomorrow, and to be prepared to be up early. I would most likely cry a lot, and probably be extremely anxious about what the day would hold. Which is a strange truth of my life.
When I think of a future without anxiety, I honestly start to panic. My anxiety does such a good job at convincing me that it is making me “safe” that thinking of doing things without anxiety seems so scary and dangerous. Therefore, if I knew that my ‘safety net’ of anxiety was about to be taken away, I would most likely be pretty distressed.
I would wake up early. I was born at 5:03 AM, so I would probably wake up at 5, celebrate the actual moment of my birth, and then get myself started. I would eat a massive breakfast, anxiety free. I would grab a cute outfit, snacks, and my bathing suit, and tell all of our family to get driving! We are going to the beach.
I would have an amazing drive with my husband to the beach, a trip we have taken several times before and loved each time. We would laugh, sing, snack, and probably be top-down in my convertible Mustang. It would be bliss.
When we got to the beach, I would run to the ocean. I would throw myself in that water and once again probably cry my eyes out. The ocean is something that I believe I won’t see for several years, so getting to see it on my 21st birthday would be a miracle and the best birthday ever.
I would take a million pictures.
We would play beach soccer, we would build sandcastles. We would jump in the waves. I would sit and read at the water with my mom and sister. We would skim board and make fulls out of ourselves (besides my husband because he actually skim boards). I would take a romantic beach walk with my husband collecting shells.
For meals, I would want Chick-fil-a for lunch. Classic Chicken sandwich, medium fry, cookies and cream shake. I would love it and not be anxious about it. For dinner I would want to go to a seafood restaurant. I want shrimp scampi. I want to enjoy my favorite food with my favorite people.
That night, I would stay as late as I possibly could. I would talk and laugh and relish the time with my family. I would stay until the sun was setting and watch the sunset over the ocean. (Most likely crying again at this point because they are beautiful).
When it was time to pack up I would hug my family and in-laws. I would cry with them. I would thank them for a beautiful day. I would apologize that things have to go back to normal tomorrow. I would tell them to use this day as hope that one day we will get to do it again. I would tell them that I will miss them in the time I won’t get to see them as much once anxiety is back. I would tell them to use this as a reminder of me as I am without anxiety, happy go lucky, quick-witted, and in love with life. I would squeeze them so tight.
I would get in the car and drive home with my husband. It would be so bittersweet. I would love the feel of the open road. I would still listen to music. I would still talk, and I am sure there would still be laughter. But I won’t lie when I say there would probably be tears that would start to stream the closer we got to home.
As midnight neared I would hug my husband. I would tell him I was sorry. I would tell him this day gave me the motivation to continue on. I would tell him I hope this day gave him strength and hope. I would tell him I hope the day rejuvenated him, gave him a break from being such a care-taker for me. Then I would crawl in bed, squeeze him tight, and try to fall asleep knowing anxiety was back once again.
So this is what I would do if I got the best birthday wish ever for my 21st birthday and got a day without anxiety.
What would you do if you had one day without your illness, or if you had nothing holding you back?