So many times I felt crazy. So many times I was made to feel so weak and pathetic for suffering over things that seemed trivial to others. So many times I felt ashamed for the butterflies in my stomach that ate me alive and filled my head with negativity and pain. I hated to surrender to my Anxiety but I just despised how you dug deeper in to my weakness and made me feel like I was so far from normal. You see, I thought I was the only one who had someone very close to me who belittles my Anxiety. Who has zero empathy or compassion for what I go through when I am faced with situations that trigger it. I was surprised to get an overwhelming response from my followers and subscribers, telling me that their husband, their mother, their sister, their best friend, co-workers etc, don’t believe that what they are feeling is real or actually put them down for having Anxiety. I felt like this needed to be talked about and it needed to be addressed because I am here to say what we feel IS NOT IN OUR CONTROL. IT IS NOT OUR DECISION TO CRUMBLE APART AND FEEL LIKE WE ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Mental Health is REAL, it exists and it does not need to be dissected and degraded. We are hard enough on ourselves, we do not need anyone else to pick us apart and put us down. This stops here. If you have someone you love who just doesn’t get what you are going through, then please forward them this post because the misunderstanding stops today.
I think so many people who hurt us with their comments regarding mental health issues, do so because they personally cannot relate. They may have never felt the fear or the emotions that we feel so regularly. Just like we cannot understand how they are able to function without these feelings of Anxiety or Depression, they cannot understand how we suffer. Now, what they do need to know first and foremost is that there is no room for them to question the authenticity of our suffering. Doing so causes so many deep emotions that are so very negative and so abusive in nature. Telling someone with Anxiety or Depression that they are being dramatic, or that they just want attention is really hurtful and makes us feel even more disconnected from our loved ones. Don’t you know? Attention is the last thing we want! Admitting to someone that we have Anxiety or Depression is actually the hardest thing some of us have ever had to do. Do you know how embarrassing it is to feel like you cannot cope with something that others do effortlessly? So imagine admitting that you feel defeated and then having someone actually put you down for not being able to do the thing that triggers these emotions. Do you think that would help us? Tough love doesn’t exist in our world and when it does, it makes us 1000x worse. Please know that when you say just get over it or you are making a big deal out of nothing, you are pushing our healing process so far back. Any baby steps forward, you just robbed us of those completely.
For those who do not know what Anxiety is or feels like, I will try to provide examples to help you better relate:
- Anxiety is that nervous feeling before you go in to a job interview.
- Anxiety is what you feel when someone messages you to call them it’s an emergency.
- Anxiety is what you get right before you do a presentation in front of a large group of people.
- Anxiety is when you are about to get back the mark for your exam that determines if you passed the class or not.
- Anxiety is what you feel on your first day at a new job.
- Anxiety is getting in to a car accident and knowing you have to look back and see if your kids are okay.
- Anxiety is knowing the school bully wants to fight you after school in front of everyone.
NOW IMAGINE LIVING WITH THAT FEELING EVERYDAY. We do not enjoy this feeling. We never asked to have this issue and we just want the paralyzing, negative thoughts to end. It isn’t just easy to get over or go through. It is painful, it is horrifying and although to you our fears may not be valid, to us they are debilitating. For some of us it is actually a chemical imbalance where we need medication to help us feel some sort of relief. Mind over matter just does not work for someone with Anxiety. So please, if you actually love the person who is suffering, do not put them down for struggling to do certain things just because you can do them.
What does work is when we have someone we care about deeply tell us it is okay and that they will be patient with us and support us during a hard time. We need to know that you are not judging us for these feelings and thoughts and that we are safe with expressing them. In fact, I have found that talking about my Anxiety with someone who is very compassionate has actually helped me calm down about 90% of the time. When someone listens to me and looks me in my eyes with empathy and concern for my well being, it makes me feel like I have a team. I have people standing behind me to catch me when I fall and prop me up when I don’t have the courage to stand on my own. When I feel supported with my Anxiety, I start to feel like we are making progress together. I feel like with that person’s support, I can get better and I can eventually do the things that give me Anxiety, on my own. I feel like they have taken the weight off my back and thrown it away for me when I wasn’t able to lift it on my own. You have no idea how much of an impact supportive people have had on my life and my healing journey. So if you want your loved one to get better, then educate yourself on what they are going through. Talk to them about it and show them that you care and support them. You may just save someone’s life because you truly never know the extent of someone’s pain. I hope this post helps even one person and if it does, then I feel like I did my job.
Sending Love and Support to all of my readers,
Thank you for your post Leigha!
I found your blog through Instagram.
I am 26 years old, just graduated college in May 2016 and got my first real job at a logistics company in July. The company was going through a lot of changes and still is and I had my first anxiety attack my first day on the job. I stayed in the bathroom for so long. Felt that feeling ALL day. I think somewhere between all the pressure of finally getting a big girl job and the disorganization of the place opened up some sort of anxiety in me. I just quit about 2 weeks ago because of the stress and anxiety it was causing. I have always had anxiety but now it’s worse. I’m really hoping a different job won’t make me feel that way.
Much love to you and your fam, thank you for supporting us all!
Yvette I am so sorry to hear about your awful experience! Having anxiety is just unimaginably hard and having a new job is a huge trigger for it!!! So many people have been in your shoes before! It sure is a lot of pressure but I know the next job will be better and you will ease right in to it!
Thank you leigha!