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What about your hometown are you most grateful for?
In this post, I'm going to dive a little deeper into the world of mental illness - so I'll ask for your patience as I dig into the realms of anxiety and PTSD here.
One of the things that drew us to Westport (we've moved to unincorporated Grayland, just a couple minutes away, but Westport is still technically closer than the town of Grayland - either way, the feature I love most holds true for both towns) -
We needed a place to live that we could afford to rent AND have food on the table. (Theoretically - at the time, we couldn't afford a table, so... You get the idea)
I was still in the worst of my anxiety disorder. No longer having pseudoseizures, but still having the absence episodes with tremors and getting on the highway in a car or on a bus, at the time, was serious stuff that usually resulted in a week of sleeping 20 hours a day.
Anxiety is exhausting.
We knew Westport was a small town - we discovered that when we took the drive out here to look at the apartment. We didn't realize at that time, just how small it was.
Westport has exactly one stop light.
Several stop signs.
Almost no sidewalks.
A lot of deer, a couple bears, and a few coyotes. Bunches of squirrels and raccoons, and a host of sea lions and harbor seals.
But very little traffic from September through May.
Our "highway" (the 105), is two lanes for 25+ miles, and traffic jams?
We've been stuck in serious traffic fewer than 10 times in the 4 and a half years we've lived here.
Why does any of this matter? Especially when I don't even drive?
I stopped driving back when my anxiety attacks started getting really bad. I had to surrender my license when I started having pseudoseizures. Does that sound harsh? I surrendered to all this willingly.
Because the last thing I wanted, was to panic on the road, overcorrect, and be responsible for someone else getting hurt (I have a violent startle response). When the absence episodes started, I didn't even ask why I had to give up my license - Can you imagine driving 70 miles an hour and blacking out? Yeah - I wouldn't want to be behind the wheel either.
But even as a passenger - even on a bus - traffic frays my nerves. Despite bad vision, I have a really wide peripheral vision field - anything that comes into it quickly startles me. When we go to Seattle for Hubby's appointments, I invariably end up with back spasms and cramped fingers from gripping the car door.
Lots of open space.
Less exhaustion from constant anxiety and panic.
I love our little town.
Yeah, we have to drive a half hour to get to the nearest major grocery store (about once a week), but we might see 10 cars the whole trip. Thirty during the summer. It's how it is. And we love it.
I'm grateful that, at a time when I most needed it, the Universe arranged an affordable apartment in a place that would facilitate my mental and emotional healing. I'm still on the road to wholeness, but I'm a million times better than I was four years ago, and Hubby and I both credit the quiet and calm of our hometown with that progress.