Today is mental health awareness day and my best friend and I, who both deal with different forms of anxiety every day, have agreed to each post about our own mental health journeys and share them with the people around us.
The biggest part of mental health awareness day, is just that. It is the awareness. It is the knowledge that mental health is important, it is relevant, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
In February of this year I shared an article about my anxiety and what it feels like to carry around with me every day in all of its excruciating glory. That article demonstrates what my anxiety feels like at its worst.However, every day isn’t the hell on earth I depicted but it absolutely isn’t all rainbows and unicorns either.
In my post I wrote a lot about conquering my anxiety, fighting it, beating it to a pulp. But here’s the thing: that is a battle I will never win. I will never “beat” my anxiety. I will never scare it away. It is as much a part of me as my brown eyes and weird pinky toes. It is and will always be a part of me.
Over the past 8 months I’ve learned that anxiety is a strange beast that can make me feel like I do not deserve love and happiness. It can make me think that there is something bad constantly looming over my head. I’ve learned it always shows up uninvited and never comes bearing good news. I’ve learned that it will always tell me what I fear the most. And above all else, I’ve learned that anxiety is a liar. Anxiety. Is. A. Liar.
Anxiety doesn’t get to tell me what I do and do not deserve. Anxiety doesn’t get to dictate my thoughts. Anxiety doesn’t get to have what it wants. I do. I have the power to get what I want. I can tell anxiety to go fuck itself and there is nothing it can do to stop me. Anxiety is a strange beast and it is waiting around every corner. But I know its tricks. I know where it hides. I know its name. And just like all those demons in all those old horror stories, knowing its name gives me the power; knowing its name gives me the control.
My anxiety is a part of me. It isn’t a part I can wish away or a part that I can fight against. It is a part of me and the world I live in. But it is my anxiety and it is my world. Not the other way around. I make the rules. I choose to get what I want and what I deserve. I tell the truth.
And the truth is, I have brown hair and weird toes. I sing too loudly in the car and I have anxiety. I am who I am and that is okay. It doesn’t mean I deserve anything less than happiness. It doesn’t mean anything more than what I let it mean. And that is the truth.