Anxiety. It seems like it's become our generation's favorite buzzword. Pair it with depression and you have yourself one heck of a mental distress cocktail. Maybe it's just me, but lately I feel like we're all out here trying to live our best lives and push the negatives away and we're doing cleanses for our mind, bodies, and souls and we're reading self-help books and sharing inspirational quotes in our instastories and are 100% #stressfree and wow, what a wonderful life.
But what about that nagging feeling that lurks in all of us? The feeling that we aren't doing enough, being enough, living enough. It's stressful and awful and uncomfortable, but what all this constant positivity is telling me is that we also find it to be something worthy of having a bunch of shame about.
As I've sat and pondered on it more and more, I feel it's important to note how incorrect that ideology really is. Because at the end of the day, feeling like everything isn't perfect is actually really really human behavior.
So, of course, we don't go on our social media and post about how shitty and vulnerable and fearful we are, that's not retweetable content. But it can't be denied that fear is such a huge motivator for us as human beings. Without fear, we would more than likely be dead! I mean seriously, if fear wasn't an integral part of natural reactions, we'd all be walking out onto freeways with our eyes closed because the logical and fear fueled reaction to not do that wouldn't exist.
For many people who suffer from mild experiences with anxiety and depression (like WE ALL DO, HELLO), it's hard to look yourself in the mirror and not feel great concern that maybe there is something wrong with you that you can't fix. What we ignore are that sadness and anxiety hit us all at different times, for different reasons and that every single one of those instances is valid.
There seems to exist this stigma that anxiety and depression are awful things you have to be so terribly ashamed of and work on until you feel pure bliss and peaceful easy living and frankly that's bullshit. If we spend our lives not questioning our choices because thinking about the outcomes of those decisions just gives us anxiety, then are we really taking on life? Or are we just walking through it, being careful not to step on the cracks in the sidewalk that represent our fears?
Stigmas surrounding mental health suck. And as a community of people, we can come together and normalize mental health by acknowledging that we all go through it. We don't all go to therapy or take medication or even take steps to get better, but we all fall somewhere on the spectrum of sanity and we all know how it feels to not have the perfect existence.