I'm about to share something very hard, and very personal to talk about. I have anxiety. Bad.
You wouldn't know it to look at me, and most days I hide it pretty well. At least I think I do. Most of the time when I'm in public, or around people I'm able to smile, or hold a conversation. However, there are times, even though I'm smiling, my mind is a thousand miles away. I have no idea what you are saying to me, and all I want is to flee. Go off and hide until my heart stops pounding in my ears.
Why am I telling you this now? Honestly, I'm not sure. I've suffered with this since I was young. I haven't, up until now, taken medication, or sought help. I've always tried to deal with it on my own, and alone. That's not working well...at all. In fact, it's getting worse.
Some days even waking up can bring on the head rush of anxieties, and overwhelming emotions. And forget trying to go out in public, on a good day that is done with lots of preparation, and deep breathing. Even my part time job is a challenge, I manage, just barely.
There's many levels to panic attacks and anxiety. There is social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and the list goes on.
These are all hidden mental health illnesses and conditions. They are not visibly seen on the affected person. It's not like being in a wheelchair, or needing to walk with a cane, or some other viable disability. We look normal. We are, for the most part, normal.
I have a personality. I love, ironically enough, horror movies. I'm a big fan of The Beatles, I've gone to concerts. I like the color orange, and listening to rain falling on the roof. I'm funny, and I'm smart. I love going to the movies, and I read all the time. I'm a writer, and working on a book. I also have anxiety and panic attacks.
This is real. Not just for me, but for a lot of people. We often times suffer in silence, it's easier than dealing with the negative that can come along with "invisible illnesses". I should know, I'm one of them. I know in posting this blog, my world isn't going to change. I'm still going to wake up tomorrow and be me, still have anxiety.
Working on getting better isn't going to happen over night, or in a week. Maybe not even a year. But maybe in sharing, in letting you in on my secret. It can be a start.