If there is one thing that I’ve learned about my mental health problems, it’s that I cannot wish them away.
They will not disappear, will definitely not stop being a singular challenge in my life if I just don’t stop to consider them. They MAKE themselves known.
The only thing to be accomplished by ignoring them while they are full blown is denial. The only thing I’ve ever accomplished by forgetting them when I feel better is missing the opportunity to become stronger, know myself better, and become better prepared for the inevitable moment when they cycle back into my life.
This is because I have a severe anxiety disorder, not ‘butterflies in my stomach’.
Not ‘a problem with procrastination’.
I am not just ‘stressed out’.
I have tried to describe what it is like, for me, to those of you who are experiencing life in a different way, and I will keep trying. Because the people closest to me won’t ever fully understand – at least, I hope they won’t. The only way to would be..to experience it themselves. And then spend years of therapy and soul searching figuring out what exactly it is they are experiencing.
I hope they never face experiencing this themselves, but if they do? I want to know my way around and through anxiety, to have learned to live life with it the way someone else might compensate for a limp or for chronic migraines. I want to be able to tell them that I get it and that it will get better when you understand yourself so well that you discover all the hidden strengths you possess. The most important being, the strength to ask for help, to ask for what you need.
And then to keep going – maybe not in the direction you intended to! But somewhere important, somewhere awesome – a road as wonderful and weird as YOU.