{anxiety}

I no longer live in Florida.

I can’t say I’ve never seen snow anymore.

I miss the beach like crazy.

I’ve grown a lot.

Oh and I chopped my hair off.

I’ve learned a lot about myself.

I’ve discovered who I am apart from familiar surroundings.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to face is my anxiety.

It’s easy to ignore crippling anxiety when you’re surrounded by familiar, comfortable things and people. It’s much harder to do when you are in a complexly different, new, and uncomfortable place. Moving two states away from my friends and family has forced me to come to terms with the fact that I have severe anxiety. I never wanted to focus on it while I was home, but looking back, I can see how much it had a hold on my life even then. I really didn’t want to be controlled by it, or to let it take over. But I didn’t realize what it really is and how it works. It’s almost like I have two versions of reality: what I know is happening, and what my anxiety tells me. The two almost never match up, and it’s an exhausting battle to reconcile what my anxiety tells me to what is reality. One I unfortunately often lose.

This is a relatively new discovery for me, considering I used to think my depression was a bigger concern than my anxiety. But lately, I’ve realized that my anxiety controls almost every part of my life. It’s a strange thing, because I recognize that what my anxiety tells me isn’t the truth, but that’s not how it FEELS. Even now, just writing this, my anxiety is going crazy, telling me that people will read this and judge me and not understand, while my logical side knows that’s not the truth. My anxiety is convincing me that I shouldn’t even post this, and to be honest, I don’t know that I will.

Often, I don’t like to post, or even write something, that doesn’t have a satisfying conclusion. I know that won’t be the case with this, so I’m writing it to help me understand myself better, and maybe others too.

Something I struggle with a lot, is assuming that people criticize me for things I do and say, and then the conclusions they make based off of some token words or actions from me will alter the way they see me and will not want to be friends with me. And if you’re my friend, and reading this, and thinking “she might have thought that about someone else, but not me!” I really do hate to say this, but that’s not true. Nobody is safe, not even my family. My anxiety attacks every relationship I have. I try my best to not let it cloud them, but that’s doesn’t change how I have to actively battle against it. A huge part of it is just telling my anxiety that no, that off-hand comment isn’t going to make my friend of many years hate me, you don’t hate your friends when they say something slightly off-color. The other part is having friends who reassure me they care, they see me, and they have chosen to be my friend, it’s not something that a little wrong thing (or a big wrong thing) I say or do can change. And I truly appreciate those people.

Anxiety is absolutely exhausting, and irritating. I don’t fully understand it, or how it effects me, but I’m working to catch and understand it so I can deal with it and not have to fight it so much. I think I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.

As I write this, I am fighting a headache and some sleep deprivation, which makes it hard to think, so I feel like this isn’t very articulate or well written, but it feels good to write it out for once. Maybe I’ll be able to do a couple more posts in the future on this topic, as I understand it better. And get more sleep. Also, maybe I’ll explore my enneagram type (I’m a 6) sometime. No promises, but I do want to.

I want to thank everyone who reads this for being my friend and caring about me. It means a lot. I appreciate you.

4 thoughts on “{anxiety}

  1. Hey Emily,
    It was fun to visit. Thank you for sharing about anxiety you experience. I think it’s healthy! For what is worth (sometimes we feel alone), we all experience some to a certain level. I’ve met those with a much greater degree of anxiety. I’ve also seen people reduce their anxiety! More thought on anxiety are coming in but I’m going to hold off. I love you!

    1. Thanks papa! It was so fun to have you here! You can always send me more thoughts privately, I’d love to hear them! It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently and I’d really like to learn how to reduce my anxiety!

  2. Hi, Emily,
    I appreciate you opening up about your anxiety and depression. That takes guts. We all have issues and challenges that we have to work through—that’s part of what makes us human. Have you looked into physiological health and nutrition as perhaps an underlying factor for your struggles? Having optimal levels of Omega-3 and Vitamin D, for example, are important for the brain and overall health. Exercise, gut health, and a balanced diet are also really important. I do know of some supplements that help with anxiety and stress: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea (if you happen to be interested in looking into that). Even if you might think that what you’re facing is mainly spiritual/psychological, addressing the needs of your physiology can at the very least help improve everything overall to make what you’re dealing with more manageable.

    1. Hey Randy,
      Thanks for your response! I agree with you on all points; I do take all that into account. There are so many factors that go into anxiety and depression, and I know it’s never simple to pinpoint. At this point in my life, being the healthiest, most active I’ve been in my life, I’m coming to think there may be more to it than just some simple lifestyle changes to make. It’s something I’m still new to but I am always learning more. Thanks for your tips!

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