I Should Probably Just Say This Already

Hey guys. I have a post coming up soon to show you all about the new walls we’ve framed out and man is it so surreal to see the rooms coming to fruition. For so long we’ve just been imagining them.  Todays post is about a topic that sort of keeps me from writing sometimes, and I figured if I talked about it, I might just be able to go ahead and write better.

Let me share a few ground rules. Normally on blogs when people share a struggle they have there is a serious outpouring of support, of stories, etc. The reason to date I haven’t written about this, is because I absolutely do not want that. Other peoples stories (at least related to this) don’t help me. I specifically don’t go to forums for this reason. For a lot of people, the outpouring and stories help, for me it’s like “this is just something I have, let’s move on”. I’m writing this so we’re all up front with each other.

I’ve mentioned before I have anxiety. I mean, everyone has anxiety, just like everyone has happiness, sadness, annoyance, etc. No big deal. I unfortunately have an anxiety disorder I didn’t even know I had (by name) until I was 25. The signs were there since I was a little kid, but yadda yadda, anyway….yep, anxiety disorder of the OCD variety. In other words, sometimes my brain thinks things are scary that aren’t and worries too much about the “what ifs” of the future. I don’t typically fight with my anxiety like some people do, I sit with it in that moment, I’m compassionate towards myself about it and sometimes I make fun of myself for being anxious. It doesn’t mean I don’t need to lay down, but I don’t lay down and let my anxiety take me over mentally and jump into the drivers seat if at all possible. Other times, I can just feel the sensations of the anxiety physically. I breath into them, accept them with mindfulness and know that anxiety might *feel* horrible at times, but it can’t actually *do* anything to me.

I don’t want people looking at me as broken. I’m not broken. Everyone has their cross to bear and their struggles. Unlike some people, I don’t see my anxiety as a total curse. I also consider it my double edged sword of a blessing. While it truly can be exhausting at times, it also allows me to be more empathetic and compassionate to others, and it has helped me learn to be compassionate with myself. Also, it has shown me just how strong of a woman I am. It brings me to my knees, and brings me back to God. Sometimes my priorities get out of wack and everytime it helps bring things back into perspective. I call that a blessing.

Here’s the big reason I’ve never talked about my anxiety in any remote detail except maybe a sentence once.

It doesn’t deserve my time. Anxiety is something I have, it’s not who I am. Everyone has anxiety.  I am someone who sees the beauty in the world, even if her brain is tired sometimes and the fog sets in. I see the blessings around me, and  I’ll always be fine. I don’t live my life according to my anxiety. Of course there are days here and there I need to just stop and take care of myself, we all have to, but that’s okay (ppsst, it’s a good thing to do it even if you don’t have OCD).  I see my anxiety as a nervous back seat driver who’s all “watch out!” and I’m like “stop backseat driving, I’ve got this.”

I just thought you guys should know.

So there.

Hopefully now that I’ve said it, and put it out there, it will make it easier for me to write and mention it once in a while. I’m admittedly squirming in my seat a little bit because it’s published and out there. Honestly though, if you deal with any sort of disorder or disease that hinders your life in anyway from anxiety to cancer, and exhausts you sometimes, you have my thoughts and you are not alone. Just remember depression is a liar, anxiety isn’t so scary if you run straight at it and ask it what it’s scared of (and that all anxiety wants is certainty – and no amount of compulsions will ever give it, because we can’t be certain of anything in life, that’s just the truth) and if you approach it with compassion it turns from a roaring lion into a scared child. If you have cancer, you can do this and fight fight fight. The point is….whatever you have…don’t hide from it. Run at it head on with the warrior heart that you have and accept it’s something you have, it’s not who you are.

xo,

Heather

11 thoughts on “I Should Probably Just Say This Already

    1. Establishing remission for the seriously heavy duty anxiety is key, and knowing your cues for when it might come back so you can nip it. No one can choose to have an emotion gone forever, so I see that as normal and it makes me feel better. Plus, as Ecclesiastes says, “on a good day, enjoy yourself. On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranged for both kinds of days, so that we won’t take anything for granted.”

      Truth.

      Xo,
      Heather

  1. “and that all anxiety wants is certainty – and no amount of compulsions will ever give it, because we can’t be certain of anything in life, that’s just the truth”

    That is totally the core of so many anxiety disorders! Just the idea that there is really no such thing as certainty in life can be scary to people with just “normal” anxiety! (I also struggle with serious anxiety issues, so I understand where you’re coming from.)

    I can also relate to the “sitting with it” part, as that is such a giant help when those crazy bouts of worry show up. It’s like that saying; “What you resist, persists.”, the more you try and fight the panic the more it sticks around. When you acknowledge it things suddenly get just a bit easier!

    Anyways, thanks for being awesome and sharing with us, and for reminding everyone that they are not alone! Anxiety disorders affect so many people it’s mind boggling, but because not everyone talks about them it can really seem like you’re the only one! Keep up the awesome blog!

    1. Aww you’re welcome. It’s hard to put it out there, because you risk the “poor you” reaction which I can’t stand (and only allows anxiety to grip more). A comment like this is awesome. I’m glad someone else sits with it too! Thank you for letting me know you’re happy I said it, that means a lot to me.

      Xo,
      Heather

  2. Lots of wisdom in those words above – both the post and the comments. One of the best things I learned a long, long time ago was that if I raised my hand and asked a stupid question, several others were wondering the same thing. Kind of took the scariness out of not knowing, not understanding or not being sure about something – most of the time, anyway. Thanks for sharing. No, you are not alone.

  3. This personally couldn’t have come at a better time. I soooo know. Thank you for sharing-a little knowing-you’re-not-alone-ness goes so far.

    1. Aww you’re welcome. Amazing how God sometimes pushes you to write something because he knows who it will reach, when it wasn’t my thought it would help anyone but I am SO happy it has. You are NOT alone. Also remember there are some amazing people who can help, sometimes just talking to a third party is all I need to wrap my head around something.

      Xo
      Heather

  4. I needed this post. Thanks for putting it all out there! I love what you said about anxiety wanting certainty. Exactly. It’s refreshing to hear your attitude toward your anxiety. I needed that attitude adjustment…it really helps change my perspective on my own anxiety. Thanks for writing!

    1. Wow, thank you for letting me know. I’m feeling very humble and I’m realizing more and more why I have an anxiety disorder. It’s for His use to reach those who also need help. It’s blowing my mind. Thank you so much. I’m so so glad this has helped you look at your anxiety in a new light. Keep up the awesome reframing!

      Xo
      Heather

  5. Hi Heather!
    I take my hat off to your openness. Sharing your thoughts about your anxiety disorder prove a lot of strength. Of course your readers will respect times when this “topic keeps you from writing”. Hope you know, that you are in my thoughts even if you are currently not posting or I am not commenting.
    Sorry for my poor english..

    1. I honestly wouldn’t have looked twice if you hadn’t said anything about your English! It’s great. 🙂

      xo,
      Heather

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