“I’ve Been Here Before”

I’ve been here before.

This is what I thought last night as I struggled with anxiety. I thought about how I was tired of ending up in the same situation – feeling both sad and weak due to my anxiety. I thought about how I wish I could go back to doing simple things without feeling anxious.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I never feel hopeless and downtrodden, because I do. I hate feeling burdened with anxiety; feeling like its in control. Believe it or not, I used to be someone who loved to go out shopping, hang out with friends, and be able to do things without much stress. I still like doing those things, but I don’t feel like they’re easy anymore. I hate that feeling.

As I sat struggling last night, I wondered how and if I’d ever get through my anxiety. After all, I’ve been going through it for so long, how can I be sure it will ever be a thing of the past? I don’t think this is a totally unreasonable question. It’s hard to have faith sometimes when you constantly see yourself suffering.

The thing that we all have to remember, is that many of us have made progress. Many of us have faced our fears and succeeded – I know I have. Just because we may have bad days or moments, does not mean that we haven’t experienced times of achievement or that we’re not on the road to recovery. All it means is that we have to work harder on a more consistent basis. We will get through our anxiety and over our other obstacles!

So if you’re wondering how you’re supposed to believe in yourself, you’re not alone. I think many people feel this way. It’s okay to sometimes feel less than 100% confident, you’re only human. What’s not okay is to allow these doubts to take control, to give them credence. We are stronger than our obstacles!

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National Mental Health Day

Today is National Mental Health Day. Before I begin, I would like to thank everyone who supports me in my journey to get through anxiety. It’s a difficult issue to deal with and I am extremely grateful for your support!

One of the things that really bothers me are the misconceptions that surround mental health issues. There are many that upset me, but one of the ones that I personally deal with the most is the assumption that mental health issues are easy to get through and that they are a sign of immaturity, weakness, or laziness. None of these things are true. Mental health issues can be just as difficult to deal with as physical ones. For some reason, many people seem to dismiss this fact.

Battling with negative thoughts, irrational fears, and other mental health problems is not easy. It’s not something that you can just snap out of. Just because getting through anxiety or over other obstacles can take time, does not mean that those who struggle are not trying their absolute hardest on a daily basis.

I personally have struggled with anxiety for several years and know first hand how difficult dealing with the mental health issue can be. There are so many things that I love to do that anxiety holds me back from doing. Yes, I try my hardest to overcome my fears, but that does not mean that my anxiety will just vanish. I only wish it was that simple.

I know that I can’t expect everyone to understand – none of us can. There will always be people who don’t know what it’s like to struggle with a mental health issue. There will always be people who think that we are making up our struggles or simply not strong enough to overcome them. What’s important is that we believe in ourselves and that we remind ourselves that we are stronger than our anxiety.

If you are reading this and are someone who finds it difficult to understand what others go through, please try to remember that we all struggle with something. Just because you may not deal with the same issues, does not mean that they are not real. Also, even if you can’t exactly understand what someone is going through, please try your hardest to be kind to those around you.

To those of you who struggle, you can get through this!