“You are not your anxiety…” I’ve seen this quote a lot recently, and I’ve never thought much about it. But I am. It’s been such a big part of who I am for my whole life, yes it’s difficult, and yes, it makes every day things 1,000x more difficult. But to be fair I would love to go even just a day with out it.However, if it weren’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t be working at a job that I love. I would have been able to easily handle working at Dollar General. I actually liked that job, I thought it was fun. The only problem with my anxiety I was constantly second guessing myself which led to me quitting. Daycare/babysitting, I know what I am doing.
I wouldn’t be as nice or caring. I don’t think I could empathize with anyone going though any kind of rough time, if I’ve never struggled.
I wouldn’t be so willing to help others out. One of my greatest fears is not being there for someone who needs me. That is also countered by the nagging feeling that people only want me around because they need something.
I wouldn’t be able to control my emotions. I am an extremely emotional person. From the time I was 11/12 I had to try and figure out how to control my emotions. If I had not learned to control my emotions, then I would be a mess. I wouldn’t be able to laugh, at my failures, or find the good in bad situations. I do still lose it a lot, and allow my self to be hurt or angry over things that shouldn’t affect me. I don’t like to be angry so I don’t. My world is full of sunshine and butterflies.
I owe all of the parts of me that I like to my anxiety. I accept that my anxiety defines me. I think that trying to distance myself from it, will only make it harder. However when you accept it, then you can work with or around it. I’ve haven’t figured out how to work around it. I am able to suffer in silence, well enough to keep it hidden.
I’ve gone 14 years with out telling anyone about it. I have had to admit to it at a summer program I volunteer at. When they blindfolded me for a simulation thing. I had a panic attack causing me to run into the bathroom crying in front of all of the adults, and teenage participants. Then again last summer when we walked around Mackinac Island (and my anxiety was real bad) and I literally slept the whole next day recovering. My sisters boyfriends mom had made a comment to mine about sleeping a lot is a sign of depression, my mom let her know that it was anxiety not depression.
I don’t fall under the typical “recovering” from a mental illness thought process. I still find it weird referring to as a mental illness. To be fair I’m far from “recovery”. My anxiety is both my defining character trait, and my greatest weakness. Because I do see it as a weakness, that’s why it took me 14 years to say it out loud, to someone other than my mom or sisters.
Yes I get that you have to be strong, to battle your own mind, and not let it beat you. I do, but there is still so much that can’t, or won’t do because of it. And honestly that’s ok. It’s ok to be anxious sometimes.
Also I’m sorry that I hadn’t got this finished Friday.