So my timeline is roughly this….not so happy childhood thanks to my mother’s many, many illnesses and the fact that I’ve likely had some degree of anxiety disorder since I was 5 or 6. Yay me. I finally had a professional tell me a couple of years ago, about the same time that my GP put me on Cipralex after a major crisis, “Ah, you have an anxiety disorder.”. Again, yay me. Mind you, once that happened, the lightbulb moment happened and looking back, I realized why so many thing were the way they were.
Looking back though after awhile, and really, looking back can be an awful idea, I started to wonder, how life would have been if I hadn’t had a childhood full of anxiety and youth and early adulthood full of anxiety and depression. What would I have accomplished then instead of waiting till I made it into my 40s? Wouldn’t life have been so much fuller and more enjoyable? Wouldn’t I have done so many more things and not hesitated, kind of like I’m doing now?
Safe to say, yes, I would have done far more things, had more adventures, met different people and generally been more of the person that I really, really wanted to be and felt like I could/should be. Not the person held back by fear, always afraid of looking stupid, always worried that other people would ridicule me and that I’d fail. The confident person that everyone already thought I was.
I realize though that everyone’s life follows a certain path and mine followed a path that led me to where I am now and that is actually a pretty good place. If I hadn’t been held back by fear, I probably would have finished my university program (or followed a different program completely) and if I had done that, I may not have attended the friend’s wedding where I met my husband. If I hadn’t met my husband, I wouldn’t have my son. I probably wouldn’t have a lot of the awesome friends that I do because our paths just wouldn’t have crossed.
Now granted, I could certainly have lived without all the crap that I’ve gotten through, but what would the cost have been? This is definitely a time when looking back, while often useful for putting things into perspective, is not a great idea for the “what if”. Looking forward, on the other hand, seems like a great idea :).