What Michelangelo Taught Me About Finding Freedom from Fear and Anxiety

Two weeks after separating from my first husband, I booked a bus tour through Italy, my first trip alone. Just two years prior, my anxiety, obsessive compulsive and panic attack disorders had become so intense and all-consuming they rendered me agoraphobic. But then I found sufficient help to pick myself up off the floor (literally) and start managing and hiding my symptoms enough to function. I asked for a divorce in part because the relationship didn’t have space for my mental health issues; he didn’t understand and dismissed them, which only made things worse. I realized that in trying to create a picture-perfect life—husband, house, dog, career—to feel safe and hide my secrets, what I’d really created was a prison.