Anxiety & Depression: No Shame

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This bracelet is a Luca&Dani design that was given to me by my Mom. The symbol serves as a daily reminder for me to embrace the journey that my life is taking me on.

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

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stacymcclary View All →

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.

5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I admire your bravery for telling your story! Anxiety, depression and every other mental illness is NOTHING to be ashamed of! We all have our struggles and I’m glad that you are opening yourself up and willing to try and help others in a similar situation! Thank you for sharing! xo

    Like

    • Thank you! It’s definitely way out of my comfort zone, but I have learned that it’s a good thing for me to push myself and expand the boundaries that I’ve set for myself. Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
      Love always, Stacy xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this. I…i really needed to read this. I’m struggling with depression. And reading this it felt like you were walking around in my head . lol. Giving like a tour to a group of tourist.

    This part
    ” 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”

    ^ How did your husband help you to love you and see your worth. Like is there anything you can pass on or mental exercises or something. Those are some of my biggest issues. I attempted-suicide 2 years ago around this time. And..i have a lot of dark times. I’m in therapy. But still….I’m not even sure of what I’m asking you while I type this. But thank you for writing this none the less. It makes me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one fighting a war inside against myself.

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    • First of all, thank YOU! Thank you for being brave and for reaching out for help. I am so glad to hear from you because it means you are still here and you are still fighting because you are worth it! You deserve all the chances for joy that this life has to offer you and I am honestly in tears as I type this.
      My husband has been my rock as I mentioned in the blog but it’s been a process. We have been together three years (married for one year in October) and I can honestly say in those three years he’s had an exhausting job.

      Every single day he tells me something positive about myself. He’s my biggest fan. Even on my darkest days when he knows I’m fighting to put one foot in front of the other he realizes it and just casually says “you’re really strong, you know that”. Or on days when I hate my body the most he will tell me that I’m the most beautiful woman inside and out. Repetition is key. I’ve heard these simple phrases and many others over and over and I guess (for me) once I heard them so many times they kind of stuck in my head. It took a while though, it wasn’t an instant thing. But now I catch myself saying those same things to myself in my head and sometimes I even say them out loud. Like… YES! I AM strong. I AM proud of what I push myself to do. I’ve heard these things from people before but his persistence and constant reminders broke through some barrier for me and the light started shining in my life again. So, if I could give any advice (and at the fear of sounding corny but this is an honest judgment free zone)it would honestly be… make it your daily goal to find one positive thing to say to yourself every single day. No matter how trivial it may seem or how silly. Congratulate yourself for accomplishing things. Say them in your head, say them out loud, tell someone else, or I frequently tell my dog!
      You’ve done the super hard part by acknowledging what’s going on in your life and reaching out. And for that I am unspeakably proud of you.
      I hope some of this might have been helpful. You’re always welcome here if you’d like to ask more or just need an outlet to share success or struggles!
      Remember…
      You’re amazing.
      You’re so strong.
      You CAN do this.
      You ARE doing this.
      You’re brave.
      You’re loved.
      You’re someone to be proud of.
      I AM PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
      Love always, Stacy xo

      Liked by 1 person

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