Saturday, November 14, 2015

I moved!

Spied this fellow sunning on a log early one morning... I'm no longer in Pennsylvania!
Yes, it's true. I'm living in sunny Florida now! Moving here has been a life goal for me for some time. It's crazy how different my life is now, compared to a couple months ago. Everything has radically shifted in a positive way. My health is much better, and I've officially left K. His verbal and emotional abuse was making it difficult for me to heal from PTSD. I knew I needed to get away from him in order to recover, and so after many months of planning and manifesting, it all came together.

While K was at work, I left him a note on the kitchen table explaining that I had left. He didn't know I was gone until he came home and read the letter. He would have gone violent verbally if he had known of my intent to leave, so I had to keep my plans secret from him. By the time he read my letter, I was gone. My sister had came in the middle of the day and drove me to the airport. After I checked in, Sparky rode in a little zip up kennel on roller wheels that I pulled him around in through the air port. After we went through security, he merrily pranced around on his leash, full of glee, greeting people and charming the socks off of each person he met. While we flew, he slept quietly in the kennel which fit after much prodding and configuring under the seat in front of me.
I've been living in Florida here for about two and half months now. It still feels like such a wonderful shift, that I have to keep pinching myself. I'm living with gentle, peaceful people who are sensitive and thoughtful. Like me, they are health conscious and eat cleanly. We practice yoga and meditation, as well as easeful living. Things are light and easy, joyful. My guard is down and I can breathe freely.
Afternoon sun filtering through a neighbor's palm trees.

My agoraphobia of six years is gone. I used to be too shaky and terrified to even go into my own backyard for years, let alone go a walk. I spent years not going to the grocery store, not getting into a car, not talking to people. Now it's different. I flew on my own from my small town in Pennsylvania to Florida twice.... once to visit friends and get a feel for the area, then again to move here.
I flew with friends from Florida to California to enjoy a week long music festival. We missed our flight during a layover, but I wasn't anxious at all... it was simply fun and smooth sailing.
I went with friends on a camping trip where we stayed in bunks, had a midnight bonfire, and went kayaking and hiking. I can't swim, had never kayaked before, and was running on five hours of sleep the night before, but I was chill and energized, in the moment... it was a magical time floating out in the dappled water... me munching seasoned chickpeas and chocolate chips out of a zip lock, in a happy haze, laughing with my friends who were swapping stories and bumping their kayaks into obstacles in the river accidentally, and laughing.

Spanish moss waving lazily in the humid afternoon across the street from me.
I also go out shopping now without a second thought. I used to get dizzy if I did venture out to a store... the bright lights and colors were overwhelming, and all the products made me feel like I couldn't focus and was being caved in on... it was really scary. Being a passenger in a car was also scary after not being in a car for years... it felt like being on a roller coaster, with buildings and people whooshing at me really fast... quite dizzy making. Now I'm completely fine. I adore going to the store now and seeing so many choices of food... I've been trying so many new foods now, which makes my inner body smile and come alive with energy.
I get out of the house pretty much every day, or every other day now, going shopping, to appointments, to music festivals, meeting new friends as I go. The other weekend I went to a yoga festival, and today perhaps I'll go to the local dog park with both my puppies. Sparky has a new puppy friend here where I live... I'll call her H to protect her anonymity, lol. Sparky didn't have a fenced in yard back in PA, and so he always had to be on a leash in the yard or while walking on trails. Now he and H run like ponies in the back yard, sometimes with soft thundering puppy 'gallops' as they whip around the corner of the house. H is 105 years old in human years now, but she has sass and spunk. When she is chasing Sparky and can't quite catch him, she does a low, throaty growl to show her displeasure.... as Sparky zips past her.

Late day sun through the palms.
It's hilarious to see them chase each other with complete abandon, with Sparky's fur rippling in the wind and his ears flapping.  I run barefoot in the warm grass with them sometimes, and it does my heart so much good to enjoy the freedom of running in nature with my silly companions. All I need to say is "Go, go, go!" which is Sparky's cue to run up to H, leap up with both paws on her back as if to say, "Come on!" She whips around and chases him, and off we all go, circling round the yard in the morning sun with the wind blowing our hair and their fur.
I credit my improved health, both physical health and anxiety... to a combination of efforts. First of all, nothing just fell out of the sky or simply improved with time. I had to make a focused efforts to make changes. I had been having fierce daily migraines for a year and a half straight, and had been seeing a neurologist who prescribed various medications. Some of the meds he prescribed to ameliorate the migraines also had an anxiety reducing effect. I kept experiencing a significant, sometimes complete decrease in other physical symptoms, such as nausea, IBS, fatigue, brain fog, and muscle pain. After seeing this trend with various meds, a light bulb went of. My biggest issue after all this time has been anxiety and trauma. Now that I have a handle on this, I can have my life back. One medication in particular seems to have the best calming effect on me. It has changed my life, and because of it, I no longer have agoraphobia. I went on and off of it three times just to make sure it was or wasn't helping me, and the last time I experimented with going off of it, then back on, it was very clear that it helped me. However, yoga, meditation, deep belly breathing, and living in this new, relaxed atmosphere without K stressing me out has made a world of difference as well.

My life has begun all over again, after six years of waiting in a quiet cocoon. The door has opened, and I've walked through. I'm living again.


  1. Omg, AJ, I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations! What a strong woman you are. I'm so glad you found the right meds to help you and we're able to make such a drastic, needed change. I've been rooting for you from afar for years now, and its so great to see you doing so well. Yay! ~ Jewel from NLQ

    1. Thanks, Jewel! That means so much to me! It is so amazing right now, having this new life here, and being so healthy. So many more doors are opening even now. I hope you are doing well! Much love to you! <3

  2. Hey AJ, I stumbled upon your blog from Cure Zone. I have been a long term surfer of that forum for quite some time and have read up on a lot of your posts and others in the AF game. I have been struggling for almost a decade myself, (I guess that makes me a vet too!). It originally started as anxiety then developed to full blown AF due to my addiction to excessive exercise, poor health choices and just being young and naive. Anyway, I am so happy to hear that you are doing well. I can totally relate to your story and I really find your posts inspiring. I hope one day I too can enjoy a nice cool drink from life's fountain! I am parched! Anyway, stay strong and live it up. You are awesome.

    P.S. I am now considering giving SSRI's another shot. After re-reading up on TrickMaster and others, I feel that it may help calm my SNS down a bit. Your thoughts?


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