Okay… let’s sit down and do this “real talk” thing… Let’s face it no one knows what goes on behind a closed door…or mind…We all have struggles in our lives and not everyone is okay with talking about it. Especially when it comes to mental health. It took me so long to realize I was apart of the “Mental Health” stigma, let alone being able to talk about it. I feel like anxiety is being used as a fashion statement…It’s the newest thing these days. People use anxiety as an everyday emotion for something they’re feeling and they don’t know how to explain it.
“What! There’s no coffee? Oh my god I’m having an anxiety attack”
“You want me to call who?….I can’t do that. I’m going to have an anxiety attack”
I can be walking in public and hear people using it as a “get out jail, free” card, and each time I find myself wanting to approach those people and ask them if they know what it feels like to pray every night to not die in your sleep… to see if they know what it feels like to feel every. single. pain. in your body and worry and wonder if your heart is about to explode because you felt a tiny back pain… to over think every step you’re about to take and wonder if it’ll be your last….Now I know what you’re thinking….”this bitch is crazy…she needs help…” and yeah, you’re actually right, I probably do need help. Help in understanding why my brain does this… Why my brain navigates around life the way that it does… Why I find myself calculating every detail in my life, my day, my body, and then obsessing over those details.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here complaining about how bad my life sucks, because that would be a lie. I have a great life, and I would never take that for granted. The shit that has happened in my life doesn’t make it suck. If anything, all of the stuff that has happened, has made me stronger. Having anxiety does not mean that you are weak. It does not mean that your life sucks. It just means the there are some underlying moments in your life that have had a stressful, or traumatic impact and those memories are relaying in the back of your mind, without you knowing. Anxiety feels like all the walls around you are caving in. Like the ground from beneath you is about to crumble and it will swallow you up. Anxiety is not always a feeling. Quite often anxiety is mood…a day…sometimes a lifetime.
My life consists of excuses that I use depending on my level of anxiety that day. Sometimes when I say I’m busy, I truly am busy, but not in the way of “running errands, cleaning the house, or helping my mom with something” …sometimes I’m busy laying in bed and convincing myself that I won’t die going outside today. Or that my heart rate is not elevated. It’s normal. Sometimes it hurts…physically. My chest tightens up, and I start to sweat, all the while I’m getting pain on the left side of my body. “you’re not dying” is something I constantly have to remind myself…but you wouldn’t understand or believe that just by looking at the smile that I present. You might think of it as a fake front, but it’s more a way to avoid a conversation that goes something like this…
“Hey, are you okay?”
“Yeah, just have an anxious day… my anxiety is really high today…”
“Anxiety?…it’s all in your head, just don’t think about it”….
It’s not always something people can turn on and off. Don’t ever tell someone who is opening up to you about their anxiety, that it’s all in their head. We don’t want to hear that it’ll be “ok” or that we should stop over-thinking everything. Trust me, if it were always that simple to control, we would control it. Anxiety doesn’t care that you’re having a great day or that you have plans with your friends. Anxiety takes over your entire mindset for as long as it wants. Your friends and family should always be your biggest supporters. I truly don’t now where I would be without my family, friends and Jordan (my boyfriend). They have been my biggest supporters and my go-to people. They don’t always understand why I feel the way I do, when I feel that way, but they do their best to be there for me and understand what is going on.
People need to understand that anxiety feels like your world is about to fall apart…it feels like your entire purpose in life is to ponder and worry about when your time will come. When your “over thinking” feelings that become physical pain, will actually be a medical issue that could end you. Anxiety is real… it is not a mythological emotion that drama queens instil upon their own lives to make a statement. It’s something that isn’t talked about enough in the world. It’s something that we as a generation can try and make other people aware of…
You need to know you’re not alone. Whoever you are out there, you are NOT alone.
We’re all susceptible to it, the dread and anxiety of not knowing what’s coming. It’s pointless in the end, because all the worrying and the making of plans for things that could or could not happen, it only makes things worse. So walk your dog or take a nap. Just whatever you do, stop worrying. Because the only cure for paranoia is to be here, just as you are.
– Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy