When Talking About Mental Illness is a Blessing

Anxiety  take-2

Something happened when I participated in the Twitter #ThisIsHowAnxietyFeels hashtag. I realized how similar people are in their mental health journey. And I saw that what I experience isn’t as unusual as I thought. I know it sounds cliché and it would seem after all these years I would have already surmised that point. But this was different. 

I’ve met a ton of bipolar & depression sufferers over the last decade or so. All of their stories mirrored mine in some way. So I’ve felt a sense of solidarity. But anxiety is something that I’m still learning about. As is OCD. Bipolar disorder has taken a front seat, pushing aside all my other struggles. Even when talking to doctors and therapists. Anxiety just sits in the back, huddling in a dark corner, waiting to be recognized or acknowledged in some way. Anxiety for me has been like a lonely wallflower at a raucous party. 

Anxiety is really the root of many of my daily occurrences, when I think about it though. I’d wager it’s more troublesome than my bipolar issues, because I know those so well at this point. And I know what to do when I have a setback. But reading what people had to say about their life with anxiety really made me rethink how I look at this illness. I understood, probably for the first time, how anxiety impacts my relationship with others. And how I react to different situations when my anxiety is running amuck. I didn’t think I had many light-bulb moments left when it comes to mental illness. But I was mistaken. 

I had no idea that anybody else would relate to cleaning a floor meticulously by hand during an anxiety attack. Or that anyone would ‘get’ the feeling of isolation to the point of thinking you’ll die alone. I couldn’t have known people would understand my habit of checking things repeatedly even when it doesn’t appear to make sense. Actually anxiety made me believe that I had nothing noteworthy to contribute to this entire sharing session. It turns out that wasn’t true. 

If you deal with anxiety in any form, I highly recommend that you check out this hashtag and interact with other anxiety ‘practitioners’ 😉 You’ll gain so much insight, and if nothing else, you’ll see first hand that we’re not alone. 

"I moved to a new town in 9th grade, met a group of kids to ..."

OCD, Anxiety, and Self-esteem
"Please tell me where I can find an imam like that in London, UK. :/I'm ..."

On Erasing Mental Health Discrimination At ..."
"Actually it would be good to have an intelligent conversation about your treatment for your ..."

Souls Matter in Mental Health
"I just wanted to tell you that I am so happy you have found that ..."

On Erasing Mental Health Discrimination At ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment