For whatever reason hitting publish on this post makes me feel nervous.
But hey, I guess that’s what happens when you’re dealing with your mental health. I wrote this post on Instagram last week about how I believe I’m dealing with anxiety. On the outside, I’m a totally “normal” human being that leads a normal and great life. On the inside, my thoughts and fears get the best of me.
a little background
When I really look back on my life, even from a young age, I think I’ve always been an anxious and sensitive person. When I was a baby, my mom said I would cry at songs that had sad melodies (like a Chase Bank commercial). When I was a little older, I remember seeing something on an episode of the show “ER” that had to do with 2 younger kids losing their parents in a car accident. I swear from that moment on, I’ve always been VERY anxious about losing my parents. As I got older, I realized that even though I loved being social, I didn’t like to do ANYTHING by myself. I wouldn’t even walk to the vending machine by myself. It made me super uncomfortable.
nothing was wrong
I never took the time to truly address my thoughts and feelings. I always thought that since I have and always had an amazing life, that I was fine. Nothing was wrong, and these were just normal thoughts. I didn’t realize the IMPACT these thoughts were having in my life over the years.
I believe my anxiety comes from all of the unwarranted thoughts. Sure, everyone goes through their shit. We’ve ALL had bad things happen to us. We’ve ALL been through ups and downs, break ups, make ups, tragedies, etc. But looking back on it, I don’t think I do a good job at addressing or coping with situations. I’m ALWAYS thinking. Or should I say OVERTHINKING. It’s something I’ve always done. I always think I’m doing something wrong — at work, at home, in my relationships/friendships. When the slightest thing, issue, fight, etc. happens, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s the absolute end of the world. Or that I’m not doing enough. Or that whoever is involved in the situation hates me. Although I admit I’m fairly selfish, I still am a huge people pleaser at the end of the day. So when I think something is wrong, it kills me. Even if I didn’t necessarily do anything.
when did i realize i had anxiety?
I think over the last few months. A goal of mine is to be more aware, and I’ve definitely been more aware that my thoughts have been affecting my every day life. So then I started noticing things that trigger these thoughts and, therefore, my anxiety. In the past, I don’t think I wanted to believe I could be dealing with mental health issues. Like how could I have issues? I have a lot of really great things going for me. I have a lot of great people in my life, people that I WANT around. But I don’t think that’s how mental health issues work.
For me, that’s the first step in figuring this whole thing out. Breathing has been a big helper in this. Just a couple of techniques and deep breaths have helped tremendously. I’m working on realizing that my thoughts are not facts. That it’s OK to be anxious, as long as I can control it. That I need to take things one step at a time.
why i want to talk now?
In keeping up with transparency, this is something that’s part of my life. So I’m going to tell you about it. I also want to continue to talk to you about things. Maybe you’re also dealing with anxiety. Maybe you have been for a very long time. Maybe you have amazing things that have worked for you that might work for me.
I’ve always had a thing for mental health. I’ve always been fascinated by the mind, mental diseases, and how society plays a role in it. Social media is a blessing and a curse. While I don’t think it was the CAUSE of my anxiety, it certainly plays a role in it. While I know it’s just a highlight reel for most people, sometimes my thoughts get the best of me while looking through my feed…which makes me want to throw my phone. But on the other hand, I LOVE sharing with you. And I love sharing REAL things with you.
The stigma around mental health needs to be broken. Just because I believe I have anxiety, doesn’t mean I’m not a happy person. So why wouldn’t I talk about it? Too many of us refuse to talk about our feelings and what is impacting our mental health out of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being not normal. Fear of having to get help. But for me, that fear “ends” here. And I hope this post encourages it to end for you too.
*I’m in no way a doctor, and cannot give any medical advice. If you’re experiencing some of the same things I’m talking about, please reach out to a medical professional.*