“The world is so broken and sometimes it leaves you cold.
And at times you can’t feel the fire to guide you home.
The demons will haunt you and try to steal what you know.
But the angels, they brought you, and they’re gonna hold you up.”
Hi, My name is Emily. I’m 21 years old, and exactly a month ago I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, to be exact. Getting this diagnosis was, in so many words, relieving. I live my day to day life fighting with myself in my head, constantly in worry or in fear of everything. I worry that no matter what I do, I’m doing it wrong. I am afraid that I will never be fully loved, accepted, or enough. I have strong, immense fear for things that are completely out of my control. And, most of all, I worry that there is something wrong with me, and that I’m the only one that feels this way. Finding out that I am still me, just with a disorder, reminded me that one day, I will be okay. I don’t know how long it will take me to get there, and how exactly I will get there, but I have to learn to accept that. I have to learn that I can’t have every minute of my life planned out, and that if something goes wrong, that doesn’t mean everything went wrong.
Part of the reason I am writing this post is because I strongly believe that this needs to be talked about. There is a huge stigma on mental illnesses, and those with them are made to believe that they have to keep it all in. If you break your leg, it’s “okay” to post about it on social media. But if you are dealing with something internally, you “shouldn’t.” And why, why is that? I am not any less of me because of my disorder. I should be allowed to blog about whatever the heck I want to blog about, without fear of what others will say about it. Yes, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. Yes, my anxiety disorder is a part of me, and it always will be, but it isn’t me. Yes, I don’t fully even know or understand myself, so I can’t expect others to. But I shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. I shouldn’t feel like I have to push it aside. Because no matter what my brain may try to convince me of, I am capable of everything I was capable of before, if not more. I am not any less of a person than you are. I shouldn’t have to feel like I have to push my mental disorder under the rug because it might not be “accepted.” What I have to learn is how to accept myself, and the only way I am going to do that is to be open and honest, and speak my truth.
So, this is my truth. My truth is, this is all still new to me. I still don’t know what I’m doing, and I still am learning, day by day, how to handle myself. Some days are better than others, some days are worse than others. Some days I am the happiest person ever, and other days, I’m stressed, worried, and sad and I can’t even explain why. Do I understand myself most of the time? No. Do I need to, right now? No. It’s all a journey, a road that I am far from the end of.
Honestly, I live every day in some sort of fear. I believe that I am alone, that no one will want to be by my side, because who wants a part of a mess like me? Some days, I have to convince myself that this is who I am supposed to be. God made me ME for a reason, and I have to get out of bed and be me because that is what He wants me to do. I have to constantly figure out what is the truth, and what my brain is just making seem 80 thousand times worse than what it really is. Yes, I take medication. Yes, I go to counseling. My medicine and my counseling aren’t there to make me less of me, they are there to show me that it is okay to be me. I lay awake at night, wanting nothing less than to be asleep, but instead, all I can think about is everything that I could do differently in life. I am a crier, I always have been. But I have to force myself to stop myself from crying in public places because I can’t deal with the “what’s wrong?” question when I don’t have an answer.
I tend to question my own happiness. I blame things on myself, and I feel inadequate. I don’t allow myself to feel like a good enough friend, President, sister, Christian, anything. I tend to find peace and calm in others, because I can’t find it in myself. I want to be able to show others love, happiness, and acceptance, because I struggle with it daily, and I don’t want others to have to struggle with it too.
I have a mental illness, but I am not my mental illness. I am a twenty-one year old girl who loves to drink hot chocolate and dreams of traveling across the entire country. I am a caring, passionate person, and I am ENOUGH. And at the end of the day, all I really need is a hug, a friend, and a reminder that I am not alone.
| dear whoever erased part of my board and wrote “you can do this,” “there’s still hope,” “you’re stronger than this, “don’t be afraid” and everything else, you are the reason for my smile. thank you. |