Dear Anxiety: Your Days Are Numbered

I hate the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

I hate it because it means that when people actually need help, they may not seek it for fear of judgement.

I hate it because people may ignore their own feelings when the world is telling them to just “deal with it.”

I hate it because people may be ashamed to admit they need medication to get through a period of their life – or forever.

I hate it because people who are brave enough to get help may be mocked or ridiculed.

I hate it because for most of my life, that person living in fear of judgement has been me.

Until today.

This afternoon I found myself in tears on a doctor’s office table explaining how I’ve suffered with anxiety for pretty much my entire life. How I was told I was just shy. How I was told to take this vitamin or eat this food. How nothing I’ve ever tried has worked.

I talked about my anxiety in crowds. My anxiety in small groups. The irrational thoughts that overwhelm my mind, always thinking about the worst case scenario. Replaying conversations obsessively. Trying to convince myself that I’m being irrational but my brain doesn’t listen.

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It shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to take this step, but now that I have, I feel lighter.

I walked away today with a prescription and a referral for therapy. Something that up until recently I would have been ashamed to admit. But 2017 is about taking care of me and taking control of my life, no matter what anyone thinks.

I don’t know if I’ll need treatment for a season or for a lifetime, but I am so excited about being healthy and happy. A better mom. A better wife. A better friend. A better person.

Today I learned that it’s okay not to be okay. I learned it’s okay to get help if you need it. I learned that taking care of your whole self is nothing to be ashamed of.

And that I’ll be better for it.

3 Comments

  1. Mike Kuplevatsky

    Awesome post! Every thought in this post felt like a reflection of my own thoughts! The stigma is honestly grossly inappropriate and only causes more harm, as it amplifies the amount of people who choose not to seek help because they will either not be believed or simply be judged for what they’re going through.

    Like

    1. Paulette Parker

      Thank you! I absolutely agree.

      Like

  2. Siera Slack

    Let…in this very moment I adore you! In this moment my heart also, aches for you. I hurt because I know all too well what this feels like. I’ve been on medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression for years now. My heart hurts because I had no idea, not when we were younger or as adults. We both silently suffered. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. I sorry that I didn’t recognize the same suffering in you that I was experiencing.

    But I adore you! I adore the strength in you that it takes to make your struggle public, and to seek help. I adore you for the hope in you that there are better days. You’ve empowered so many in this one post alone. I adore you for that!!

    I love you girly and am here for you forever and always! ❤❤

    Like

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