I believe everyone struggles with something. It’s part of the human condition.
Fear just happens to be mine. It is my greatest struggle. Always has been.
I am someone who suffers from anxiety.
I am also someone who has tried to hide the fact that I struggle with anxiety.
Most acquaintances don’t know this has been an issue for me. Some close friends and family know that I have some “anxiety and stress issues”. Very few know that “the anxiety and stress issues” have often been debilitating, consuming, and an incredible source of shame for me.
Anxiety is incredibly complicated. At least for me, anyway. I am not a Doctor, or a Therapist, or a Mental Health Professional so I don’t claim to be an expert in the field. But I am someone who has struggled with it as a disorder on and off for a large chunk of my life. I’m someone who knows what it feels like. I’m someone who has sought counseling and therapy for it for the past 9 years or so. So, I have learned a thing or two. Anything I share here is based solely on my experience with anxiety and will reflect my own thoughts, feelings and opinions, so please, if your experience is different, don’t take what I am saying as a universal truth. If your experience is different than my own, that is more than ok.
I had been waiting until I was “cured”, until I had fully recovered from my anxiety to write about it. But, truthfully, I don’t know when that will happen. I still hope for it, pray for it, strive for it, and seek help for it. Thankfully, I have made serious headway. I’m not where I once was but there are hard days, weeks, and even months when I have to coach myself into doing “normal” everyday things.
So, I decided to stop waiting until I feel perfect to share my story. I decided to stop waiting until I am “cured” or fully “recovered” for two reasons. First, it’s an exercise in vulnerability for me and vulnerability is an important tool in breaking down feelings of shame. It’s going to be a new kind of “therapy” for me. Second, maybe you’ll relate to my story. If it can help someone else not to feel alone, the way I once did, then it’s worth it.
I’ve learned that sometimes our greatest pain can bring about the greatest beauty. I’ve experienced darkness that I thought would swallow me whole, but it didn’t. Light broke through and is still breaking through, exposing the cobwebs and dusty corners of my mind that need truth to sweep them clean.
I’m on a journey towards healing. I’ve learned a lot thus far and I hope to be able to share some of that with you.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5