Wednesday, May 30, 2012

on anxiety

Mental illness is not something that we readily speak about as a society. We'd rather push it back in the furthest recesses of our minds, somewhere it doesn't bother us.

It's disturbing to think of mental illness, to think of schizophrenia, addiction, bi-polar disorder, major depressive disorder, paranoia, narcissism. . . . these are hard things to discuss.

And you know what?? I know someone who fits each one of those diagnosis'. Family, friends, I grew up around dysfunction . . . . or so I thought.

But it's not dysfunction . . . it just wasn't spoken about. So many people suffer in silence, so many souls are crying out in pain just wanting to be validated and knowing they are not alone.

So here I am . . . writing on anxiety.

Because I have it.

I go to therapy every week.

I deal with panic attacks.

I deal with being scared and lonely and afraid and worrying that I'm crazy all the time.

But I'm not.

I'm just like you.

I just worry a lot and think about stuff way too much. I obsess over things. I make things catastrophic in my mind. And I worry about being sick all the time. That's my biggest fear, being sick.

So why am I the way I am??

I think I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again, I grew up in chaos. I never knew what to expect. I never knew if my father was coming home drunk or sober, if my mom would snap at us that day, if my brother would go to jail again. . . There was so much yelling and screaming and violence in my home. . . I saw so much, I saw too much.

And I can't take it back. I can't go back to that place and tell my younger self that it's okay, because it's not.

But it's created something of a monster inside of me. I need to be in control all of the time. I worry when I'm not in control. I worry about events that are out of my control.

And lately my anxiety has been through the roof because I separated from my fiance of ten years. And I don't want to be ashamed of it anymore. I can't be. It's part of who I am.

So what a few times a week or month I wake up clutching my chest and reeling from nausea?? And so what if I can't control every little thing in this world? And so what if my heart is broken right now? It will get better. . . I will get better.

I just don't want to do it alone. . . and I encourage all of you to find that person in your life, the one who you know it struggling from depression or anxiety or something else, and tell them that you are there for them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you will be there for them.

Because that is the best thing you can do for someone who is coping with mental illness.

And I would like to take this chance to thank everyone who has done exactly that for me.

Thank you,
from the bottom of my heart



  1. I love this post and your bravery in it. Anxiety is a beast that only those who have truly experienced it can understand. I have been attending weekly therapy for almost a year. I still have told only those close to me. I work in mental health and i worry that my coworkers will think I have no business trying to help others, but I know that's bullshit. Just wanted to say how strong I think you are and thank you for inspiring me to at least speak out in our shared online community. -harrisonsmomma

  2. Thank you. I know so many people more than just me are dealing with this. It's a true illness. And it's okay. We are okay. And believe me I know all about helping people. It is very easy to help others, it is very hard to help ourselves.