Truth: This is hard for me to write. I’m really thankful for the feedback I got from this post, as it encouraged me to continue writing. I also promise to return to my cheerful life updates soon. There’s a lot of good stuff happening, even now! So here it is. Being open is the only way to move forward.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week.
For the past couple days I’ve been dealing with a major anxiety attack and I’ve been struggling to keep it at bay. While the strength of it really rocked me, it is nothing new and I’m proud of my ability to manage it.
But it gets tiring. This time, it really hit me hard.
I know relatively well what triggers my anxiety. As much as I try, sometimes it can’t be avoided. In fact, sometimes it’s tied to things I want and I don’t want to run away even when I’m struggling. This time was almost a perfect storm, little bits of which I’m still trying to figure out. As I progress, I’m learning to not place blame and judgement on others for these triggers or my emotions. I own how I feel.
One of the toughest parts of anxiety is feeling like you don’t want anyone to know. Today I wasn’t doing a great job of that. Unfortunately, the more obvious I feel it is, the harder it gets to function. It kind of feels like shutting down. As a result, anxiety can make you feel very alone.
I reached out to a friend today just to let someone know the truth. It gave my brain a (temporary) place to rest knowing that someone out there knew how I really felt, not how I was pretending (poorly) to feel. It doesn’t make it go away, but it was a way to cope.
While this is an ongoing challenge, there is a positive story to be told: There are people out there who get it. Last week I came across the new ad campaign from CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Reading this is like a sigh of relief. This campaign is brilliant.
It’s not like people don’t want to help. I know good friends and family have said these things to me with the best of intentions. Honestly, these are things I often feel myself. It’s easy to feel guilt over having anxiety. I don’t want to feel out of control, so why can’t I just will it away?
Having anxiety can be exhausting. Supporting someone with anxiety can also be exhausting. Thank you to my friends and family for coping along with me.
Anxiety isn’t a weakness or a fault. Tomorrow is another day :)