An open letter to the world about my dark cloud: Anxiety.
Each day starts out hopeful. I try to fit in breakfast between the “Hi Mommy” wake up in the back room, to the daily epic fight of the bottle to my littlest creation. I scour for caffeine, in any form. Usually coffee or my real addiction: V8 energies–Peach Mango to be exact. Sometimes I plow through 4 of those a day, they are soooooooo gooooood. By the time I make it into work, my tank has been significantly diminished. I am not sure where the exact moment it happens, but I physically cannot be the best mom AND the best teacher, don’t even hold your breathe for the best wife or friend. This is where my anxiety rears its ugly head.
To talk about my anxiety, means I must talk about my mistakes. How scary. Vulnerability, its terrifying. But, why not. No one reads this anyways, 😉 .
I have this world, inside my hamster wheel, that I cannot silence. Its an invisible, quiet, strong world. It includes the worry I cannot suppress, the potential outcomes cinema reel that I cannot hit pause on, the intense emotions I feel for others, and things. With all of these profound, somewhat toxic feelings, that I can’t even begin to properly articulate out loud to fully allow the listener to grasp, I revert inward. This action sometimes manifests physically, usually in sweats, nausea, extreme fatigue, and mostly unseen tears.
This is not an open letter for empathy, I promise I have enough to last a large group of people for a lifetime. This is to share the inner workings of dark days, the warriors who forge onward anyways to give everyone the best they can, to the ones idling alone wanting to feel connected to something through this shit storm in our heads, to those who just need to read this and feel the burden is shared, take a load off, and know that a life worth living is there even though it seems impossible, and that its okay to share this part of you to your world, your people.
Mental health has made a hit in the world, becoming more recognized, which means to me, becoming more accepted among the masses. I have personal experience with mental health, my own and people close to me. I honestly, did not know I really had issues until my husband started to care enough to PATIENTLY dig deep at me. I emphasize patiently, because it takes a lot of energy, time, and trail to be there for someone who needs to re-learn who they are and recognize something inside them, ultimately they would not like to know. Now before I show my dark colors, be mindful that I am human, so are you. Allow your thoughts to manifest kindly, let the picture of me being painted in your mind, have slow brush strokes.
To combat my racing thoughts, full of doubt, worry, sadness, often times I would use alcohol as a crutch. Sometimes I still battle this even today. I never knew people did not share my racing thoughts, I thought it was normal to be riddled with this turmoil. Obviously I was wrong, these things are not normal. I also thought because these thoughts were normal, it was also normal to heavily drink through them. Nope, definitely not normal. I have found, that it actually feeds my anxiety. The morning after, the awful morning after, I feel this worry, this anxiousness heighten to a level that is somewhat paralyzing. I walk around pretending, the greatest showman is alive and well, masking the shell of a human I woke up being. This is warranted because the worst version of myself likes to surface when I drink to much. Its down right awful. And why do I do this to myself? To stop my thoughts, because I don’t have anymore energy or strength to do it myself. Sometimes its easier to create chaos, to put disorder out into the world near you, so you actually have something tangible to place those feelings you’re already having in your head ON SOMETHING, other than this invisible cloud of nothing. Ironically, it makes you feel less crazy, when you make an ass of yourself so you have something to put all these negative feelings you’re hoarding to use.
Some may understand this notion, others may be completely puzzled by this. Like I said, to articulate these feelings is difficult. These feelings do not leave. This is just one example of this anxiety, it can take other shapes in my life. Bills are the biggest. I work very hard to keep those common anxious feelings at bay. Honestly, what I have learned through all of this, is to make these dark feelings actions. I utilize these feelings and allow them to be catalysts to real actions. For example, I am taking next year off: I worry I am not a good mother, not doing enough for my children at the molding age they are. I also want to be really good at my job, I realize I cannot do both. So to combat this I am taking a year off to give the most I can to my little rugrats. But in order to achieve this, I need to think about the money I will be depriving my family of, therefore, I picked up a second job (this is the catalyst to my happiness and promise land of a year off). I will return to my job knowing I have given a great deal to my family and children, letting me off the hook to balance the goodness I have between mom and teacher.
Compliments of Lecrae ft. Tori Kelly – “I’ll find you” below.
“They say fear haunts
And pain hates
I say pain strengthens
And fear drives faith
And I don’t know all of the outcomes
Don’t know what happens tomorrow
But when that ocean of doubt comes
Don’t let me drown in my sorrow
And don’t let me stay at the bottom
I feel like this hole is too deep to climb
I’ve been lookin’ for a way out
But I’ll settle for a peace of mind”