I’m going to throw some truth at you. My life has turned a 180 in the last three weeks, and I’m going to explain why. For the last eight months, I’ve had a monster on my back, or more so in my head. Anxiety is a terrible, horrible thing to struggle with. It is actually the one thing that you can NOT empathize with. Unless you literally FEEL anxiety, you couldn’t imagine it.
Let me explain it the best I can. Imagine the things in your life you’ve been afraid of. Not the things you’re CURRENTLY afraid of, but things you’ve always been afraid of. When you were 6, you feared swimming. At 12, you feared your best friend telling the boy you liked how you felt. At 17, you feared getting into college. At 20, you broke your wrist and feared it healing. At 22, you fell out of love, and you feared taking that step. Take ALL of those things and put them in a box. Now, get inside the box, and shut the top. The box is completely immersed with your fears for the last 23 years, and you can’t move. They don’t go away, and they keep reminding you that they’re there. You can not escape it, and you just continue to think about all of the fears and how they could change your life. That is anxiety. You are stuck in your head, and you can’t get out.
I have done a very good job at withholding my anxiety from everyone, because it’s not something we talk about in the world. I would blog through an anxiety attack, and end on a positive note to try and convince myself it was normal to feel this way. It wasn’t. The real reason I’m speaking on my anxiety is because I don’t want anyone else to feel like they need to be silent. This is real, and while it LITERALLY is all in your head, it’s not actually “all in your head”. It changes your life. If you read through this, and it triggers you, PLEASE reach out to me. I promise you, I won’t leave you feeling alone. Anxiety is a terrible horrible thing to let lead your mind, and I will sit and listen all day long if you need it.
Anxiety constantly told me that following love meant that I didn’t deserve to follow my dreams. It was almost like a “one or the other” situation, and I chose the “other”. It also likes to tell me that I’m not pretty enough, skinny enough, and that I deserve to hate myself. It’s hard to lose 100 pounds, it’s even harder to lose 100 pounds with anxiety. I’m always concerned that other people will see me the way I see me. Confidence is hard for the normal person to have, and then I sit there and tell myself that I’m going to feel 260 pounds forever. Then there is the whole “health” thing… While I turn being a hypochondriac into a joke, it’s not. Those hours on webMD were LITERALLY moments of sobbing, screaming, typing, worrying, fearing, preparing for, and losing the battle. I would BEG my phone to show me a link where the symptoms matched up, diagnosing me with anything. I felt like I was PREPARING myself for my demise, and that I was doing myself a favor. How awful. And even though anxiety liked to play on these things, the part of me that it wrecked the most havoc on is my relationship.
Anxiety has rooted itself in the part of my brain that is connected to my heart. Every single time I loved Dylan, anxiety reminded me that I should be jealous about his social media habits. Every single time we had a good day, anxiety reminded me that he had a female personal trainer and didn’t tell me. (try to leave me for Angela. She will bench press you while drinking raw egg whites.) When we wouldn’t fight about something, anxiety would convince me it was weird and it would take some past mistake of his and DRILL it into my head until I exploded at him. Honestly, being single and having anxiety sucks. Being in a relationship with anxiety is almost impossible. I’ve spent three years over analyzing things that Dylan says, does, or doesn’t do, and convincing myself that something’s wrong with the picture. It’s been extremely hard on myself, extremely hard on him, and extremely hard on US. Over the past eight months, I feel like I’ve lit a match and thrown it on a gasoline soaked pile of fireworks, more times than I’d like to admit. It’s been a rough, ROUGH, road that I let anxiety navigate. I could write an entire blog to apologize to him, and I will never ever REALLY be able to repay him for holding my hand and guiding me out of the dark tunnel. I got real blessed on that front.
Overall, in the past few weeks, my anxiety has fallen into the back of my head. I haven’t WebMD’d anything for three weeks, which probably means that the site is shutting down. I feel like I was keeping the company alive. I haven’t panicked about my weight. In fact, I’ve lost a couple pounds just with my eating, and I feel pretty most days. Something that doesn’t exactly come natural, but it’s a nice change. The stupid fights with Dylan haven’t lead me to believe some crazy story I’ve made up where he’s got a second girlfriend in another city who’s got the same name as me, and that he’s secretly going to marry her too. In fact, we’ve discussed that maybe someday we might actually plan a wedding…? 😉 I feel like anxiety prays on the weak, a mental state I lived in for a while, but right now I’m pretty damn strong. Anxiety is real, but right now it’s not real….ly a part of my life.