Monday, January 16, 2017

How My Anxiety Kept Me From Talking About My Anxiety

I've mentioned a couple of time now that lots of people are able to be very open about their anxiety or other mental illnesses, and that is awesome. I think it is so inspiring. But I have not been one of those people who shares very many personal details about my life with others, even though I've wanted to be.

I've always really admired people who have the courage to share their struggles with strangers. I think the biggest thing that divides us as humans is that we think no one else knows what we're going through, so we build up our fear and anger inside and refuse to tell anyone about it. Believe me, I've been there. And a lot of the time, yeah, no one has gone through exactly what you're going through because everyone is in a different situation and has a different background and different fears and worries and prejudices. But I promise you there are more people out there who are going through very similar trials to yours than you think.

As human beings we have an innate desire to connect with others and build relationships. I'm pretty independent as far as they go, and the majority of the time I would rather spend my time by myself than with other people. But even I crave attention from people I love because I'm human. We can't keep focusing on how different we are from each other, and instead we need to start recognizing the myriad of similarities we have.

OK, I went on a little bit of a tangent there. Which brings me to my main point: how my anxiety has kept me from talking about my anxiety. I didn't think about this while I was writing it, but that whole tangent was totally me trying to justify writing this post. While the whole point of a blog is to write for the sake of writing, I still feel with every post that I had better have a fantastic reason to write it or I'm going to waste everyone's time, including my own. Anxiety makes me feel like if I don't have a Pulitzer-worthy article this whole thing is stupid and I'm stupid and people are going to read this and scoff and giggle about it with their friends and I'm going to be that annoying girl who blogs about pointless things for attention.

I just uploaded this video onto YouTube and I have this terrible, sick feeling in my stomach. It's the same feeling I had when I shared my last video and the same feeling I get every time I share a blog post or know I have to speak in front of a group of people or answer something incorrectly in class. And in my head right now is just me saying over and over again, this is stupid. this is stupid. this is stupid. I'm having images of friends popping into my mind saying "She's really milking this thing" or "Ok, it was cool at first but now she's getting annoying."

And I know that sounds kind of ridiculous, but that is my life. That is my anxiety.

This video just shares some of the many, many more reasons I had such a hard time talking about my anxiety for so long. (I apologize that the video begins and ends pretty abruptly- it came from the same 'session' as my last video but I decided to split the two because it was getting really long so I don't have a formal introduction or goodbye for this one.)