strong as hell

The thing about mental health is that social media either glamorize it or looks down on it. Two opposite ends of viewing it, but both are equally wrong. Anxiety is real, it’s hard, and can be devastating to some people. No one should make that “cool”. No one should make you look overdramatic for all that worrying too. No one that struggles with their mental health is weak. They know more than anyone else how to overcome the way their brain is wired. They take control. That is strong as hell.

They do that with several options: therapy, medication, coping skills, or a mix of all them. All those ways are valid. Going to see a therapist or going to see a doctor is brave. It doesn’t make anyone cool, but it does give them the chance to take back their life. Anxiety is not one for the weak.

Big crowds worry me; my head is on a constant swivel taking in my surroundings. I’m scared of the dark because I can’t see what’s close to me. Heights terrify me due to the chance of falling. I can be sitting in my bed relaxing and watching TV when my chest will start to hurt randomly. I go into panic mode thinking I am having a heart attack. I try to remind myself I’m only 19; people my age don’t have heart attacks. Usually, whenever I am in a new place I will struggle to relax until I adjust to my surroundings. When things don’t go as planned I start to get headaches. If there isn’t a plan I tend to take deep breaths so subdue the anxiety creeping up.

Now all that nonsense can happen day-to-day, but it’s manageable. When I struggle to manage it I get a little down and have trouble finding motivation. Despite that, I am still doing so many different things to make sure my life is moving forward. You have to accept that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to struggle and not be okay. That is all normal. You accept it because that’s how you’re wired and your brain is amazing either way. What is not okay is doing nothing about it.

You admit you’re not okay and then you gather every last bit of hope, faith, and courage. You stand up and you get the help you need to be okay. It’s not fair to your friends or family. It is especially not fair to you.

When I started to write this I wanted to make sure that anyone who followed me remembered that life gets better. As I go on I am thinking I wrote this for me just as much as I wrote it for you. I am preaching all this get better things will turn out the good type of deal, but sometimes I don’t even remember that. Let’s remind each other. Right now I am writing on a piece of paper “It is okay not to be okay. It’s not okay to just leave it that way.” It will stay on my desk. I hope you write it on yours too.

You are not alone. You are never alone. As school starts and the days get shorter the stress builds up. Take care of yourself. You deserve it more than anybody.

If you need a reminder, I will always be here.

Photo by Hailey Reed on Unsplash