Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Let me take you guys into a battle.
A silent battle that I’ve been fighting for a while now.
My battle with anxiety.
Literally, only 4 people in my life know about it, none being family members.
Now let me stop right there.
This entry is one that I debated on publishing for months. It sat in my drafts folder written and edited. All I needed to do was press "Publish", but for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to.
But honestly, I don't care anymore.
It matters, but it doesn't matter if you know what I mean. My anxiety does not define me. It is not who I am. It has just simply been a big bump in the road for me.
It never has and never will stop me from reaching my goals.
Therefore, I have no problem with sharing my story.
The other reality is that people don't care. I don't mean that in a "no one cares about me boo hoo" type of way, but I mean passionately and genuinely caring for your well being. Of course people want you to be doing good, but if you're not it's not like they're going to jump to your rescue and be by your side every day.
I find that people are able to sympathize and "feel bad" for you, but no one really cares unless something drastic happens as a result of your mental health issue, or it is actively effecting their life too.
You have to get better for yourself and not rely on others to help you.
I knew my anxiety was an issue when it started interfering with my daily life. I would avoid talking to certain people and going to certain places just because I was feeling anxious.
For a long time, the only place I felt comfortable was at church with my youth group.
That’s truly the only time I felt relaxed & like myself.
In my high-school experience entry, I mentioned that my anxiety began towards the end of my sophomore year when I was having a hard time adjusting to my new school.
Since that time it has unfortunately and unforeseenly gotten so much worse.
I often find myself avoiding going out with my friends sometimes, or putting myself in new situations because I “psych” myself out of everything before I get the chance to experience it.
Yea, welcome to my brain. It’s exhausting.
It’s funny at the same time because when people first meet me, most of the time they assume that I’m quiet, shy, or just stuck-up because I tend to be very reserved at first.
The truth is, 75% of the time I’m having a mini anxiety attack inside and feel super uncomfortable.
The other 25% of the time I'm fine and I just don't care about anything which is when I find that my outgoing side comes out to play.
This is why they call it generalized anxiety. I'm still learning about the things that trigger mine.
Also, there is a huge difference between being shy and being anxious, because I'm definitely not a shy person, but I am not ashamed to admit that my anxiety does get the
best out of me at times and causes me to shut down vocally.
One of my goals was to “tame” my anxiety naturally. Meaning natural exercises such as breathing treatments, meditation, cognitive restructuring therapy etc.
Those things have been working a little bit, but I'm currently seeking external help, so we'll see how that goes.
I had my college orientation a few weeks ago and found myself really anxious and holding back from trying new things. That's when it hit me. The fact that I’m about to move to an entirely different city & have to start all over again is also a huge factor in my decision to get help from outside sources.
Let me just say that I NEVER in a million years would have thought that I would be the one battling a mental health issue. Before high school, I was more than fine.
I remember in the past when people would express to me how they were battling anxiety or depression (common ones I’ve personally come across) & I didn’t know how to
respond simply because I never experienced it.
To me back then, it was just like “Well why don’t you get out of bed, why don’t you talk to someone etc”.
It’s like I could sympathize with them, but I never really knew what they were going through.
So if your friend has a mental health issue sometimes being there for them & understanding why they don’t want to do certain things helps.
It’s not always about what you say, but being aware that your presence in certain situations can be enough, is enough.
And if you work up the courage to tell someone about your problem(s) & they dismiss it indirectly, or directly...DISMISS THEM...from your life :).
You are going through enough already.
With that being said,
I am on a mental journey to finding myself again.
It’s going to be a long process, but I have accepted that and I am ready to be a part of the solution.