[PSA] The Mental Illness Monster

I’ve been missing. Not only missing, but also missing out. I haven’t been around, but I’m not going to apologize for it because the only person it’s been hurting is myself. And instead of apologizing to myself, I’m going to do something about it.

We need to talk. About anxiety. About that monster that’s been sneaking up on me in this time of so much potential & dragging me backwards like I’m nothing more than a rag doll.  Anxiety isn’t rare. Mental illness isn’t rare. I am not ashamed to admit that I suffer from anxiety & depression because I could easily list at least 20 people in my life who suffer the same ailments or worse. I have way too much experience watching people suffer in silence to think this is something I can beat alone. So I want to talk about it. I’ve wanted to talk about it for a while, but never really knew how. I guess I’m just going to do my best.

I have a lot going for me right now.  I know this. I have a wonderful family, a home, a job, incredible friends, and opportunities & creativity in quantities I didn’t know were possible – and definitely never imagined for myself. By all accounts, I should be on top of the world right now; kicking ass & taking names. Instead, I’m sort of cowering, feeling defeated – and I don’t even know by what.

Anxiety doesn’t give you reasons, it just gives you feelings. Feelings like the world is closing in on you & you’re letting everyone around you down on a regular basis. Feelings of deep & painful insecurity even when, from the outside, everything seems to be pointing up and everyone in your life is nothing but encouraging. Feelings like you’ll never be able to claw your way to a place full of stability, confidence, and grace.

In the end, though, feelings aren’t reality.  It can feel like your friends are shutting you out when they’re really trying to reel you back from the other side of your wall. It can FEEL like the world is crushing you when it’s giving you every chance to succeed. It can feel like you’re never going to get your life together when, in reality, it’s not even in shambles to begin with.

Anxiety is a bitch. She’ll tear you down faster than Regina George, and you’ll never see it coming. She did it to me. I don’t even know when it started, but I’ve been spiraling down for a while now. I finally reached a point a couple weeks ago where I really felt like I might need to get some professional help. Maybe I still need that, but I’m definitely much better after that initial breakdown.

Medication, therapy, meditation, self-medication – these are all valid ways to address anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating drug or alcohol abuse to curb anxiety attacks. Actually, my preferred self-medication is people. I when I start feeling myself slip, I intentionally surround myself with people I love and who make me happy just with their presence. Anybody I can talk to – even if it’s not about my anxiety directly – genuinely saves my life at times like these. This may not be an effective treatment for most people, but the thing about mental illness is that it affects each person differently and individual therapies have to be explored on a case-by-case basis. I’ve been dealing with these “episodes” since I was in high school. I know what works for me, and I cling to my loved ones with a death grip, just trying to pull myself out of it.

SO, that’s what I’m doing lately. Surrounding myself with people who can make me laugh and see the good in the world. And day by day, I’m getting better. Being more productive. Being more proud of myself and my life. It’s always going to be a struggle and the tiniest, most seemingly insignificant things always have the potential to send me down this path all over again. But I refuse to let it define or control my life. I have an unlimited supply of untapped potential. I am endlessly optimistic. I am a fighter.

Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day. And if it’s not, there’s always the next day.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety and are ashamed or afraid to talk about it, I encourage you to find someone you trust with your life. Don’t isolate yourself. It really is your life at stake, and so much more.

Love you all!

Until Next Time ❤

PS – I have a whole backlog of posts I’ve wanted to write over the last week & just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so hopefully I can get myself back on track and get all these thoughts out of my head!

2 thoughts on “[PSA] The Mental Illness Monster

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