Shaky hands, unsure thoughts, and a racing heart are things I am no stranger to. For as long as I can remember I always felts too much, cried too often, and like my alone time more than any other person I knew. Hanging out with my family even started to become too much early on in my life. This was my normal and I lived with knowing a name for it for 19 years.
I’ve always been familiar with the word anxiety. It was thrown out to describe when people got overwhelmed or nervous about something but me? Anxious? Me? Anxiety? No way. I just get really excited about things. Hyper, my mom likes to say. Sometimes it gets hard to breathe but it’s always been like this. I get stressed out I usually cry but that’s just cause I feel too much. I don’t have anxiety.
It’s not like I was ashamed to be labeled I just didn’t deserve the label. At least that’s what anxiety told me.
“Your just nervous sometimes. It’s not enough to warrant medication.” “Your hands have always shaken, it’s probably just something that runs in the family. See your mom’s do too.”
My anxiety wasn’t ever “bad enough” for me to want to do anything about it. I experienced by first panic attacks in college but I put it off to being overtired and hopped up on too much caffeine. It didn’t matter that it felt like the world was ending and I was going to die on my 12’x12′ dorm room floor. But then it kept happening. And my mom and doctors said it didn’t have to keep happening. I didn’t have to keep feeling this way. I convinced myself, my anxiety, that I wasn’t just “nervous” I wasn’t just “tired”. I took control of my mental health and I allowed myself to say “this is not normal”.
I stopped comparing my story to other people’s stories and allowed my story to be mine. I allowed myself to define how I was going to take control and feel okay again.
At times, I still find myself comparing my story to others. Sometimes in the mental health community it feels like there’s a never ending competition to see who is sicker. But the more you compare your story to others the harder it becomes to see that the most important person in your story is you.
It may sound selfish and your brain might tell you that you don’t deserve to be the center of your attention regarding your personal mental health journey but you may just need to fight back and finally say, “I am worthy.” Scream it to the rooftop and never forget it.
“I AM WORTHY.”