The world feels like it’s in chaos at the moment.
Political fighting like nothing I’ve seen before causing irreparable rifts in families and friendships alike. Unbelievable violence showing up in younger and younger ages and wrecking devastating havoc in places that are meant to be safe and sacred. News stories about celebrity suicides showing up weekly, which remind us all of the less-publicized but no less shattering suicides of people across the country and the world.
It feels beyond overwhelming.
Coping with these major events in addition to the stresses and struggles of every day life is enough to put anyone in a rough emotional space.
I get it. I do.
I don’t look like I have anxiety. I don’t act like I have anxiety. I don’t think a person, upon seeing or interacting with me, would guess that I have anxiety. I function fine in social situations and have a great group of family and friends who support and surround me.
But none of that means a thing to my brain.
And anxiety always shows up at the absolute worst of times.
Sometimes it feels difficult to breathe. Sometimes it takes every ounce of my strength to get out of bed. Sometimes my brain convinces me that everyone hates me or I’m bad at everything I do or that my worth as a person is based on any number of superficial qualities I will never be able to possess.
But that’s a lie.
My husband constantly repeats to me – the mantra of a spouse desperate to pull his partner up and out of the ever-sinking quicksand – “Your brain is lying to you. This is anxiety. Anxiety is a stupid liar.”
But sometimes words don’t seem to help. Sometimes nothing seems to help and things feel hopeless and frustrating and I know that he’s right but it doesn’t feel right and why in the world would my own brain do this to me?
But it does. And it sucks. And sometimes it feels like anxiety will take over forever and the world will always be like this. But one thing I can say with one hundred percent confidence?
That feeling goes away.
Anxiety may be a liar, but it’s also scared of commitment because that idiot will be gone soon. As fast and as furious as it came on, it’ll be gone and I’ll be able to breathe again.
I know because that’s how it happens for me every. single. time.
But in those moments of deep pain and confusion, it’s hard to believe that. It feels almost impossible to believe that I’ll ever feel normal again.
But I will. I have to remember that I will.
I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and desperate and like your world has been irreparably shattered. That you have support from no one. Love from no one. That you’re alone in the world.
You need to know that you’re not.
You’re not alone.
You’re not alone in this fight and you’re not alone in this world.
Your friends and your family love you fiercely, even if the chemicals in your brain are fighting you to believe that every step of the way. Your people care about you more than you could possibly comprehend. They love you. They want you to reach out.
I want you to reach out.
If you’re lost and you’re struggling and you don’t know what to do? Call your family. Call a friend. Call a hotline. Call a counselor. Call a pastor. Call a doctor.
Ask for help.
I’m not trying to make it sound like this is easy, but I can say with complete certainty that your life is worth it. There’s no shame in getting help in whatever way works best for you – with counseling or medication or prayer or holistic practices or all of the above – whatever works for your body and your soul. No shame in any of it.
I don’t know if this post will do a damn thing to help anyone, but my heart was screaming at me that these words needed to be said. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one on the planet who deals with debilitating anxiety and that thought somehow makes everything worse. So if this is you, too? Know that you’re not alone. You’ll never be alone in the fight.
Let’s fight this liar together.