The white elephant (that is ALWAYS) in the room

It’s anxiety ya’ll. Or, at least my anxiety.

If you suffer from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) like me, you might find yourself listening to the little voice in your head saying the following:

  • I wonder if he/she is mad at me?
  • What did I do?
  • Or what didn’t I do?
  • OMG why did I do that embarrassing thing in 2008?
  • I can’t believe I just said that, now I’m going to be up all night thinking about what they thought about what I said.
  • Public speaking? Yeah right.
  • Why won’t anyone hear what I am saying?
  • What do I have to do to get them to understand?
  • Why am I crazy?
  • I hate being this way.
  • Am I being rude? Annoying? Clingy?

And in my experience, perhaps your thoughts start turning into something much worse and much scarier.

You ask yourself “Why can I just be normal?”

Let’s talk about that word. “Normal” What does that even mean? This world we live in puts so much pressure on fitting in that we have preconceived notions about what “normal” really is. The examples above are all things someone with anxiety will likely think to themselves at any given point in their lives.

The following is something I wrote on Facebook back in February of this year: “I just want to put out there that if you’ve ever considered seeing a counselor/therapist regularly, I so so recommend it. There are options for everyone, no matter who you are or what you’re dealing with, however severe or not, there is something to be gained for everyone.

I’ve been in counseling on and off since 2015, but I’ve seen one therapist consistently for the last year and a half and today was our last session as she is taking leave to explore other career paths. It was surprisingly emotional as she is someone I’ve come to really trust and enjoy. In the same breath, I look at my personal progress through my depression, my anxiety, and handling life’s curves and I am so proud of myself. At the beginning of my process, I lacked in self confidence and faith that I could overcome the mental health struggles I endured daily and although these struggles are something I will likely live with for a long time, I feel I have learned the tools to manage and to continue on in a positive and self confident manner. I plan to continue my regular sessions with a new counselor, but I so appreciate everything these professionals do.

On that note, I am an open book on mental health and what it means to me and I wish that I’d had a peer who was in the same boat as me over the years who was open about this topic and willing to share their own journey as it’s a very difficult subject to grasp as a young adult. If you have questions or are just curious about the process or some of the difficulties I’ve experienced and the process of grasping and coping, I am more than happy to chat about it! Even if you just need someone to confide in, I pride myself on being a good listener.I want everyone and anyone to feel empowered to tackle their own mental health. It’s such an important part of yourself to acknowledge and embrace. You are not alone friends!! ❤️”

Now. This the post above was to inspire people to reach out to their circle and to give them a friendly person in the face of anxiety. It’s written in a much different tone than my normal writing, but I wanted to get my point across. That point being, you are normal. Everything will be okay. You are not alone. When I look back on what I said in February, much of it still rings true. I wish I could tell you I continued on with a new therapist, but I haven’t. I hated and still hate the thought of having to “start over” with someone new, but I wish I had. And it’s not too late for me to start again and it’s not too late for anyone reading this either. It takes consistency, hard work, dedication, and most importantly a belief in yourself. I shared what I said before to show that it’s completely possible with a little effort.

Take 2 minutes out of your day to watch the video below. It puts into words everything I cannot. Everyone has a different experience with anxiety. Maybe someone’s is less or more severe than another’s. Maybe it shows up at different times. The whole theory is that you are not alone. You are not the only one. And you are 100% normal. We’re human after all! We’re complex and complicated and beautiful all at the same time. And I encourage you to reach out for help when you need it; whether it’s a friend, family member, counselor, mentor, or to a safe group.

I do not own this video. Credit goes to Youtube channel “The Mighty” for this video.

XOXO,

H

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