Anxiety and depression… two very serious and very real issues that plague a staggering percentage of our population but… it’s taboo to talk about them. These issues are taking the lives of people each and everyday and we make fellow sufferers feel like they can’t reach out for help. Well, I don’t agree with that. I am a pretty private person when it comes to serious things in my life, but that’s by my own choice. It’s recently come to my attention that some people don’t have that choice. So, I am going to attempt to share my story to some extent. This is very uncomfortable for me to do, so please be kind.
I’ve always been what most people would describe as happy and bubbly. I try my best to be friendly and to get along with everyone and I love to laugh more than anything in the world. That’s me most of the time. Then there is the me that hates myself to the very core. I’d rather walk on hot coals than to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I criticize every detail about my appearance and personality. I’m sometimes not even sure why anyone wastes their time being in my life at all. That’s my reality.
I’m doing better now than I have been in a decade and I have my husband to thank for most of that. He’s my rock and he pushes me to be the person I can be but he also knows when to be the strong one in the relationship and he always helps me pick up the pieces and put myself back together. He’s taught me how to love myself. I don’t rely totally on him to feel confident and strong anymore, because he’s taught me how to see all my worth. I still stumble somedays but I’ve learned how to get back up. Each time I get better at it and I bounce back faster than the previous time.
I’ve suffered from anxiety for years. I’m not even sure when it first appeared to be honest. My anxiety symptoms range from a mild annoying tightening in my neck/shoulders, difficulty breathing, pounding migraines, panicked/trapped feeling, desperation to get out of situations, hyperventilation, the muscles in my arms/fingers contract and my hands curl up and freeze that way, and in extreme attacks I almost pass out. The most extreme symptoms aren’t very common for me. Maybe just a couple times a year, but they take days to recover from. Sometimes I decline invitations to certain events because I’m scared I will have an anxiety attack. I know some of my triggers (huge crowds and unknown situations) so I have avoided them for years. That’s no way to live. So, I’ve learned how to push myself and how to manage when I feel an attack coming on. I’m not where I want to be yet, it’s a constant battle, but I will get there.
Sometimes I feel like my entire life is spiraling out of control but I put on my happy face and push through and try not to let anyone see any signs of weakness. I’ve been “strong” for so long but on the inside I’m raging an endless battle with myself and my mind. Have you ever seen those pictures that appear to just be one large photo but if you zoom in it’s actually hundreds of individual pictures meshed together to make the one large image? That’s how people are. Most of us look like one whole piece but if you take the time to zoom in, there are so many different factors meshed together that make us whole. Judgement is an easy trend to fall into, and I myself am guilty of it. Especially with our social media driven society. You don’t get the full picture when you scroll through someones Facebook or Instagram. We tend to only post about the positive things in our lives and no one ever really knows what’s going on in the background. Don’t be so quick to dismiss someone because their newsfeed portrays a happy perfect life, if they approach you asking for help… please listen.
One of my best friends wrote a blog on this topic a few days ago (you can read her story HERE) and it’s what has inspired me to write my own and to tell a little of my story. If people start speaking out about their own personal struggles a little more it might open up the minds of others and make these issues less of a forbidden subject. To empower others to reach out if they need a friend to talk to or some form of support through a dark time. It’s my sincere hope that even one person will read this blog entry and they will not feel alone. If you are that person just know… that things will get better. It won’t always be as hard as it is right now. You are loved and you are enough. You are worthwhile. Don’t feel like you have to hide away and deal with these things on your own. There are resources and outlets with trained professionals that would love to speak to you and to help you. I’m also opening myself up to help anyone who may want to talk. I’m not a medical professional, nor do I claim to be, but I can listen and offer my personal experiences and my support if someone needs it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Love always, Stacy xo
///HERE ARE SOME VALUABLE RESOURCES///
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Visit this site for more resources: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
I wear many hats on daily basis but a few of my more notable titles include: wife, dog lover, coffee addict, budgeter, organizer, and a bookworm.