When Anxiety Makes Your Brain Your Biggest Bully

I’m constantly at war with my brain and it is exhausting to say the least. On my bad days, my brain is an all-consuming bully. It taunts me, intimidates me and engulfs my mind with “what ifs” or negative thinking that hurts me. My therapist calls it “stinking thinking” — and yes, it sure stinks. Sometimes, I’m so tired that I don’t have the energy to listen to the inner voice that questions my decisions. My brain is my biggest bully. It kicks me when I’m already down. It prevents me from doing things I want to do. It doesn’t let me trust and love people the way I want to. But most importantly, it prevents me from loving myself.

Every day I wake up wondering how I’ll feel that day. It’s frustrating to have to ask myself, What will my brain tell me today? It’s so unfair. It’s an awful feeling to think your brain hates you. My brain makes me question if I even deserve to be happy. During the seldom days I’m feeling a glimpse of relief and joy, it’s as if my brain says, “OK, you’ve had your fun. It’s time to come back to reality.”

Newsflash: I want positivity and joy to be my reality. I strive for that so much.

When I realized my anxiety and negative thinking were in the way of my daily life, health and relationships, I decided to seek help and I’m so glad I did. Seeking help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Seeking help from friends, family, a therapist or medication takes a huge amount of courage and strength. I’m doing this because I know I deserve to be happy and I don’t want to struggle anymore. And for those of you who aren’t there yet, that’s OK, too. It takes time.

I’m not giving up on myself. With the right support and a lot patience, I know I will get there. My brain won’t bully me anymore. As I learn to accept and trust myself, one day, my brain and I will work together. We’ll be a team. And my brain will love me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Olga Pankevych.

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