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Every time I talk openly about my anxiety, I get the same response, from so many people.
You’re not broken.
They’re right. I’m not broken. It’s not that I can’t be fixed. It’s not that I can’t overcome my anxiety. It’s not that there is no hope and I should just be thrown out like the pieces of my favorite porcelain mug that I accidentally dropped. I can be put back together and there’s a great possibility that I will one day return to my former, non-anxiety-filled self.
I’m not broken, but I’m definitely glitching.
I can’t wake up, get myself ready for the day and get things done, without some sort of malfunction. Anxiety has been a constant disruption in my daily life, for years now.
Some days it’s the inability to stop working long enough for a little self-care. Other days, my anxiety level is so high, I have to lay down or cry, or a combination of the two. Then, there are the days when I have errands to run, but have to continuously tell myself that I won’t have a panic attack while we’re on our way to the store, inside of the store, or on the way home from the store.
I’m not broken, but I’m definitely not ok.
My mind’s first reaction to just about any invitation, experience or opportunity is fear. Pure fear. Fear that I’ll have a panic attack in front of people. Fear that they will talk about me. Fear that they will stare. Fear that my kids will witness it. Fear of how far our car will be from wherever we are and whether or not I can get back to it quickly, if I need to. Fear of waiting on a line that might be one minute too long and I’ll have to walk out of the store, because the anticipation of the anxiety attack has already overcome me and I know I can’t come back from that.
I know I’m not broken, but sometimes I don’t believe it.
Every morning, I tell myself that this is not permanent. Nothing in life is. Tomorrow will be better. I will overcome something big today and celebrate my victories, no matter how small. With each victory, every obstacle ahead will seem easier and easier. I don’t have to settle for what anxiety has brought into my days.
I’m not broken. I’m just glitching and glitches can be fixed.
When a computer glitches, we restart or reset it. I just need to restart myself, clear my memory of the thoughts and feelings that seem to be the root of the problem. If I can get rid of whatever combination of factors that created the glitch in the first place, I can restore myself to the time when I didn’t have a care in the world.
But what are they? How do I find them and more importantly, how do I drag them to the trash?
My faith is bigger than my anxiety.
I have faith that one day, those obstacles won’t be an issue anymore.
Fear won’t be an issue anymore.
Anxiety won’t be an issue anymore.
I refuse to believe that anxiety will cause a total system failure. I have too much life left to live. Too much to see. Too many places I want to travel to. Too much to say to too many others like me who are reading this and know exactly what I’m feeling.
We may be glitching, but we aren’t broken.