No matter how often you open up about something such as mental illness, there is always that voice in your head that screams at you to keep your emotions bottled up inside. Why are you telling these people all of this stuff? They are just going to judge you and think that you are weak! Well, the truth is that I can be weak at times. In fact, I’m willing to bet that we all have weak moments in our lives. I also believe that it’s how we deal with those moments that determines our true strength.
This is especially true when talking about topics like anxiety and depression. Last year, I wrote about my struggle with anxiety and the effects it had on my family life. At the time, things were great and I felt like I had been cured of the disease that had plagued my brain for so long, but I have since come to realize that it never completely goes away.
These past few months, I have found myself growing increasingly restless. No matter how well things are going at my job, with my websites and my family life, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I am not good enough, and for whatever reason, that makes me want to shut out the things that are most important in my life. That would be the main reason that both my websites went largely ignored throughout the month of December and why one of them continues to collect dust. You would think advocating and reading about kindness would have fixed my brain, but it did not.
It’s a very strange thing for me because I am generally a happy person and when you meet me in the street, at a party or a conference, you are not getting an act. It’s just one of those things that I work through on a daily basis and have to believe that the persistence will eventually pay off. I definitely find that since I have started opening up about it, there is a sense of relief that I don’t have to hide it anymore. Being perceived as weak was a good portion of the stress in the first place, but I’ve realized that I’m far too old and much too dad-ly to worry about that at this point. The important thing is that I continue working on myself and if I can help someone else in the process, it’ll be all the better.
I share these stories because I find it therapeutic and I also think it’s important that we all stop treating these symptoms as weaknesses and start letting others know that it’s okay to open up about it. The best thing I ever did was to seek help for my condition because even without the pills, it gave me a ton of ideas and exercises to try when I start getting those anxious feelings. Don’t wait until you are too far gone; if you are feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety, talk to someone about them. Whether it’s a doctor, a friend or family member, just saying the words for the first time is an empowering experience that can start you down the path to recovery.