For anyone who is battling a war inside of their heads, there is also an unfortunate, but likely battle to be understood. It can be a constant conflict to be understood by friends, family and loved ones, and sometimes it can even be difficult to understand what is going on inside of your own brain.
As somebody who has been dealing with severe anxiety for almost six years, I have found the only way to cope with mine is to write. So here I am.
Here are 10 important things to remember when dealing with anxiety or other mental illnesses:
1. None of this is your own doing, nor is it your fault. No matter how much you tell yourself that it is – or no matter how much other people tell you that happiness is a choice.
2. You aren’t “crazy.” Having a mental illness doesn’t automatically mean that you are of impaired judgment, or that you cannot be trusted.
3. Nobody asks to have a chemical imbalance in their brain, or to have experiences in their life that could potentially alter their way of thinking.You did not choose to be ill, but you can choose to help yourself.
4. You deserve to be happy.
5. The only way to make people understand what you are going through is to open up. I know, the idea of opening up to somebody is scary, but in the words of Chuck Palahniuk, “The Only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”
6. It’s completely OK to put yourself first. Get the help you need. Pursue a hobby you are interested in. Take everything one step at a time – there’s no rush.
7. Never feel guilty. Anybody who makes you think you should feel guilty about the things out of your control, isn’t worth knowing.
8. Be kind to yourself. I think the best piece of advice I have ever come across was to think about the things you are saying to yourself – would you ever say these thoughts to a best friend or loved one? No? Then stop saying it about yourself. You deserve love and complete happiness.
9. Keep going. Although it feels like you are alone in how you are feeling, it’s likely that one of your family members or friends have experienced what you are going through. If you feel you can’t talk to somebody, I would recommend joining an online community that deals with your illness. I have been a part of four or five online communities for a year, and they honestly help me get through each day. It’s a relief knowing somebody cares and is in a similar situation to yourself.
10. You’re doing great.