So, this weekend I’ve been helping my parents haul a ton of old tree trunks and tree limbs to the dump. We made a totally of 6 trips back and forth. It’s been really nice to leave my bedroom and spend some time just listening to Christmas music and talking with my parents. My dad and I were talking about therapy and about my life. We started talking about me avoiding things like going to the store, going to church and switching to mainly online classes for college. I told him all the reasons why I’m not doing it and he asked if those were the only reasons. At this point I started getting frustrated because I knew where he was headed in the conversation and for those of you who go to therapy, you will understand that right before someone gets you to speak the truth, you get mad because you don’t want to admit it. After a minute I blurted out, “Because I’m scared!”
This is probably the most vulnerable I have been in this blog. It scares me to write these things and share it with people. The Anxious Perspective was created to share my perspective, but I honestly didn’t think I’d get a following. After changing my Instagram account to a business profile, I went from around 75 followers to 113 followers in 2 days. As I was talking to my dad, I told him that I have written a couple different blog posts but didn’t post them because I was handing out advice that I wasn’t following myself. To that he responded that maybe that would be a good post. So here it is.
The truth is, I’m not perfect. The truth is, I have a TON more to do in my OCD recovery. Some days everything make sense. Some days I can go the majority of the day happy and content. However, some days I still lose it and have really harsh panic attacks where I end up, full on, screaming at my parents. I went into my doctor last week. I was in a bad panic attack, I was shaky, zoned out, I had puffy eyes from crying and when I mentioned to him that I was in the middle of a panic attack, he said he didn’t notice. Which means I’ve gotten really good and disguising myself. If you know me, you might be shocked to read that I’ve, full on, screamed at my parents. But unfortunately, it’s true. Panic attacks are really just that, they are attacks. People who suffer from severe anxiety like me experience these ALL day. I’ll write another blog focusing on panic attacks later.
So why am I bringing this up? I’m bringing it up as a way to be honest with you. I don’t always do what I’m taught in therapy. I try. I try really hard but after a while if it doesn’t seem to give me the results I want, I give up using certain tools. I eventually get back to trying them but at this moment I’m in the stage of just that. These past 6 months have been incredibly hard for me. I’m not going to go into detail but basically all my plans for fall semester just collapsed. I started struggling and found out who my real friends are. I found out that not everyone is nice and that I need to start loving myself.
Some people just don’t get it. They only see illness if it shows on the outside. They like you when you are doing good and once you make a mistake or have a panic attack, that’s it. They no longer have time for you. It sucks. But there is one humbling thing about that, you start to sift out the people that bring you down and start recognizing who is really there for you. I get so bothered that people see someone with mental illness as weak or see them as a ‘faker’. I get so tired of people thinking that just because I have a smile on my face means I’m happy and doing well. When I look at pictures of myself, I can tell the difference between what I call my ‘anxiety smile’ versus my ‘real smile.’ Sometimes my smile hides the fact that my brain is working overtime to tell me every single thing that could go wrong in the next 5 minutes and I’m deciding what compulsion I need to do to prevent a bad thing from happening.
Please know that if you are struggling, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! My advice which I can honestly give because I know it to be true is don’t ever give up completely. It’s okay to give yourself a few days off if you need but please don’t totally give up. You are so strong and because of that the Lord knew that you were strong enough to be able to work at your mental health. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it but its true. As always remember that You Got This!!!