I struggle with anxiety.
No. Not in the way people are “OMG I’m so stressed out and anxious.”
I am being treated for anxiety. Generalized Anxiety Disorder was the label stuck on it.
I’m not telling you this so you’ll pity me. I don’t want to be pitied. I just want to tell you my story. This article is to help me and others.
For a long time, I was terrified to go ask for help, even though panic attacks, tears, and an inability to be social were ruling my life. I kept it a secret from just about everyone.
I thought that if I talked about it, it meant something was wrong with ME. Me as a person. Obviously, anxiety is a struggle that shouldn’t have to happen even though it does. But I believed that the anxiety was completely my fault and a negative part of myself. I was constantly canceling plans at the last minute because I couldn’t get out of bed, or I felt too embarrassed. I couldn’t separate the anxiety problems from myself.
Eventually my boyfriend, Max, helped me make an appointment, after I had already cancelled the first one. He walked me to the appointment and waited outside. The doctor gave me medication for depression and anxiety. At the time, I felt small. I felt like a broken person. Over time, medication helped, but I also began to learn how to control it. While anxiety was and still is a part of me, the other parts of me are bigger and stronger.
It taught me to ask for help and take care of me.
It challenged me to stand up for myself.
It challenged me to be comfortable in my own skin.
It led me to pick up a new passion to find joy in life again!
Anxiety sucks. It really does. It has been one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced. It can be inhabilitating, like it was for me. But, it can empower you, especially when you know, you can rise above it. That is why I want to put this article out there. I’m not telling you this so you’ll pity me. I don’t want to be pitied. I want to give other people support. I want to show that it isn’t something you should be embarrassed about. Anxiety has such a negative stigma. And there seems to be this idea that it is a completely destructive force and can’t ever be beat. I’m here to tell you other wise. My struggle with anxiety empowered me. And I believe that you and I both can get past it.
I wasn’t sure if I should post this. I’ve been sitting on this article for about two weeks, although the thoughts in it have been brewing in my mind for a long time. I do hope this post leaves you feeling like you can conquer your struggles rather than pitying me for mine. I will be continuing a series about anxiety and self care on Sara Strives.
Thank you so much for reading.