I’m the type of person who feels A LOT. I’m an emotional person, wear my heart on my sleeve, cry at sappy movies and TV shows, what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t take much to make me tear up. I’ve been called soft, asked to just get over it, told to push past it. Last week I cried Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. (Yes, I keep track of it, and any anxiety or panic attacks that I deal with). It helps me go back and reflect upon what happened and triggered my anxiety to flare up. Because living with a mental illness or illnesses I find myself constantly learning, growing and adapting.
Some days I can feel my anxiety so intensely I swear you could see it seeping through my pores. Or that I’m walking around with a huge flashing neon sign above my head that says “ANXIOUS”. I also have days where my body and brain are so tired of dealing with my anxiety that I become numb. You may wonder why on earth I’m talking about this…again. But it is a prominent part of my life and even more so now with everything going on. I’ve noticed that I have become even that more hypervigilant…super aware of my surroundings, if I go out of the house. On edge and desperately trying to stay away from the news. I’m doing my absolute best dealing with A WHOLE LOT of extra feelings.
2020 came and I was ready to live my best life. I was ready to get back into school, thought I had the perfect summer job lined up. But life has been rough and nothing like what I expected. I’ve kinda had to find myself again. Decide what I want to do, what would make me happy again. A path I’m still currently on because everything is basically on hold right now.
I’ve known too many young lives taken too early over the past 2 years. And unspeakable, unexpected losses that have broken my heart a little bit each time I get the news. How does one even grieve the loss of a loved one right now? The thought of it makes my heart hurt and ache.
I was recently asked to name one thing I love about myself and my answer was that I love how I wear my heart on my sleeve. Yes, it can be extremely exhausting, and painful but it is something I do love. As much as I love this part of me, I’ve been hurt too many times that my walls are up. Why let someone in, why share my story, the deepest part of my soul with someone who can simply walk away. I say this because 2 people, one I considered a best friend and the other I considered the brother I never had, I’m no longer in contact with. Even writing it out now, hurts. They weren’t easy decisions to make but I had to do it. With all this extra time on my hands, my anxiety has been doing the “well what if…” crap. Ugh.
I’ve been working very hard to remind myself that no matter what my brain says, I do deserve to be happy. Because let me tell you, between my anxiety and depression, you may be surprised at the awful things I can tell myself.
- Not good enough.
- People always leave…so what is wrong with ME?
- Not worthy of being loved.
- Will forever be alone.
- Can’t do anything right.
I gave up trying to keep track of all the places I’ve cried. Just the other week when I was walking Lexi a song came on that I forgot was on that playlist and instant tears. So, there I was, walking around my neighbourhood, tears running down my face but I made myself listen to the entire song. I needed to feel the emotions it brought up. I will admit that I have since removed that song from my playlist.
I guess what I am trying to say is it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Don’t push it away, don’t hide it. Take it from someone who has cried practically everywhere, it’s okay to cry, yes, some people will stare, but you might be surprised at how many people understand it. My anxiety has robbed me of some really great things in my life over the years. But it has also brought so much to my life that I consider tools, a backstage pass, a secret weapon.
Because guess what…my disorder doesn’t define me.