I've Overcome My Anxiety, But I Still Struggle

I've Overcome My Anxiety, But I Still Struggle

We have a fire burning inside of us that will not be held back by our stupid illness called anxiety.
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Finding a cure isn’t a thing. In fact, to imagine that some people think that’s a thing blows my mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling today. It doesn’t matter if you’ve struggled in the past. It doesn’t matter if somewhere down the line, you find yourself struggling. I’m going to break the news to you right now... There is not a cure.

Anxiety is something you will live with for the rest of your life. It may not define you. It may not influence you. It may make you stronger. It may make you weaker. But you cannot conquer it.

Life is not at all easy. If it were, we would all be winning. But there are those of us that struggle with the everyday burden of anxiety.

My anxiety hit its peak about two years ago. Life was hard. I’d cry. Every day, I’d cry. And it was over little things. Little things in life that just weren’t okay with me. I couldn’t catch onto my triggers. I couldn’t catch onto any of the reasons why. I’d just started shaking uncontrollably, my chest would tighten, my breaths would shorten, and tears fell from my eyes.

Sometimes they’d flood if I’m telling the honest truth. My appetite took a complete turn, and it was hard for me to even eat my favorite foods. Instead, I’d look at them and have an anxiety attack. WHY WAS I LIKE THIS?!

I let my anxiety get to me every single day.

I let it define me… Until the day I began to define myself.

It didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t wake up “cured.” It took days. It took months. And it sure did take over a year.

A year until I got myself back to the me I was. Fun, outgoing, nice, talkative, and friendly. A year until I gained my appetite back, and I even gained weight while I did it, weight that I am proud of must I say. A year until I looked back and said “screw you” to my anxiety.

Here’s how I did it: power of prayer, positivity, surrounding myself with those whom I love and I know will support me, and I cut out those who didn’t.

It’s a lot harder than it sounds, and for all of you out there who are still struggling, hear me out. Trust in God. Trust in His plan. Trust that you are struggling now in order to make yourself stronger and to help someone who is struggling down the line. Trust that there will be light at the end of this deep dark tunnel. Tell yourself this every day. It’s important. I still tell myself this

Looking back, I get emotional when I think about my worst times with my anxiety. I don’t let it define me anymore. Rather, I use it as a characteristic of mine. I don’t tell many people about it, but when I open up, people can relate. Gaining my strength is a story that I am proud of. Gaining my strength is a story that I enjoy telling people.

Because today, I am not who I was two years ago.

But I still struggle.

Wake up with happiness every day. It’s an easy concept. See the good in everyday. Another easy concept… For those who haven’t experienced anxiety disorder.

What isn’t easy, is the anxiety attacks still occur. And I never know when I’ll have them. I typically refer to them as my “funk” because I don’t feel like explaining my weird mood of preventing an anxiety attack. But at the same time, if I were to say I’m having an anxiety attack, I’d still be letting it define me.

Yes, my chest still closes up. Yes, I still begin to shake. Yes, I still cry. Yes, sometimes it still hurts to breathe. But I sit there, calm myself down, and continue on about my day.

I overcome it every time it gets to me, but I still have the burden of having to experience it.

So for all of you out there who think that mental disorders is just a phase and is curable, it’s not. It is a lifetime struggle.

But we are made stronger for it. And we will forever hold onto our light that is within us because we have a fire burning inside of us that will not be held back by our stupid illness called anxiety.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Dear Anxiety, Thank You For Everything You Do And What You Make Me Do

My anxiety definitely isn't an easy thing to handle, but I wouldn't give it up for the world.

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I've always been a worrier. As long as I can remember, I've spent hours upon hours overthinking even the simplest of things, like whether or not something I mentioned in passing twelve years ago could have upset someone. Even ask my mom, she'll tell you all about the times I used to worry about silly little things since I was able to really worry about things at all. Now, worrying about literally everything that crosses my mind may seem like a hassle, and it is, but I truly don't think I would be where I am today without it.

Anxiety is a bitch. There, I said it. Short and sweet. It sucks, in all honesty, and is one of the hardest things to overcome that I have ever experienced in my lifetime (Not that it's been all that long, but you get what I mean here, right?) I spend so much time worrying that I barely take the time to sit back and look at how much I have accomplished rather than how much I have left to do. For example, I have four assignments and exams standing between me and summer but am I focusing on how little that is to do? Nope. I am spending every waking hour panicking about when and how I'm going to finish that work when I know full well that I have more than enough time to do so.

Yes, my anxiety keeps me from seeing the positives sometimes, but it really does motivate me. I mean, why else would I be up at three in the morning writing a paper that's due in a week when I work at 7 a.m. and have more than enough time in the next week to do it? Thanks to anxiety, I'll be exhausted for the next 24 hours, but hey, that work that doesn't need to be done for a long time is done and I can sleep later. Or so I think right now. I'm sure some little assignment or task will pop up that I have to finish by June that I feel the need to cram for right now.

So I guess this is my thank you to my anxiety. Thanks for motivating me by causing daily breakdowns over dropping a bobby pin behind my mini fridge or a page long paper that I have to turn in in two months. Thank you for keeping me on my toes constantly and pushing me so hard that I somehow ended up so far ahead in my classes. Where would I be without you? Probably a lot calmer, but with piles of assignments to finish at an appropriate time.

Thanks for everything you do - and make me do.

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