Shot of young asian female student sitting at table and writing on notebook. Young female student studying in library.

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started College as Someone With Anxiety

22
22
1

When I told my therapist in the winter of my senior year of high school that I was following through on my plan to go to college halfway across the country, I couldn’t tell whether she was thrilled that I was refusing to let my social anxiety hold me back or terrified that I wasn’t ready to handle it. I was mostly terrified, to the point I became suicidal a few weeks before I was supposed to move because of how stuck I felt. I went between feeling like there was no way I couldn’t go and no way I could go. Thankfully, however, I worked through that stage, packed up my things, hugged my family and my dog goodbye and moved 1500 miles away from the place I’d spent my entire life to attend my dream school.

To my surprise, I made some incredible progress with my social anxiety at school and there were so many moments when I had to stop and marvel at how grateful I was that I ended up coming. There were, however, a lot of difficult times throughout the year. After some serious trial and error, I figured out a few things I feel anyone moving to college with an anxiety disorder should know, because I wish I’d known them before I began.

1. It’s OK to be honest with your professors. 

I had to take days off a few times because of my anxiety and I had no idea what to tell my professors at first. I didn’t want them to think I was using anxiety as an excuse to skip their class, but I also couldn’t think of anything else to say that didn’t sound flimsy. To my surprise, every single one of them was extremely understanding when I sent emails explaining that I was struggling with my anxiety and couldn’t attend class that day. They all kindly encouraged me to take care of myself and let them know if I needed anything.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

I didn’t have any special accommodations to help me with my mental health last year, but I am looking forward to the next one because I reached out to disability resources to get some assistance, such as a single room instead of sharing with a roommate. It’s not an accommodation that’s absolutely necessary for me to function, but they understood it would make so many things in my life easier and were happy to help.

3. Utilize on-campus counseling, if provided.

Most colleges have counselors as a part of their health services, and it’s great to be able to see someone right on campus when you need to — and at most schools, the cost is included in your tuition.

4. Being honest with your friends lessens anxiety in the long run.

At first, I tried to hide my anxiety from my friends, as I’d done with most people in my life before moving to college. After about a month, the truth slipped out while a friend was asking me to join them at a football game. “I have problems with social anxiety and crowds like that are hard for me,” I said. To my amazement that was that. “Oh OK, I understand,” my friend said. “Do you want to meet us for dinner after or are you staying in tonight?”

My other friends have also accepted and understood whenever I’ve explained something is difficult for me because of my anxiety and having them support me when I struggle with something has made facing anxiety-inducing situations much easier. It took a huge weight off my chest when I wasn’t worried about feeling anxious and hiding it from the people around me.

5. Remember you can’t succeed in school without being mentally healthy.

If you have a big paper due and feel like you’re on the verge of an anxiety attack, take a step back and do what you need to do to calm yourself before tackling the assignment — it will come out better even if it takes a little longer to get done. Take a mental health day if going to class is too much and it’s a day you can skip. Set aside time for self-care during busy weeks. Your grades will thank you.

6. Don’t feel pressured to put yourself in anxiety-inducing situations.

College is often viewed as a time not just to learn, but I believe it’s also a time to let loose and go a little wild. As someone with social anxiety, there was a ton of stress accompanying the idea that I’d be expected to socialize more than I wanted to or — God forbid — party. Some social situations were unavoidable and some weren’t. Some of the avoidable ones I put myself into anyway, because I wanted to or because I knew it would be good for me. But I also knew my limits, and while I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone a lot last year (and am happy I did so), I learned that looking after myself is more important than doing something I feel expected to do.

7. Bring at least a few things that are familiar and comforting to school. 

I know — dorm shopping is awesome and planning out your new room can be really fun. And who doesn’t love brand new things for a brand-new stage in your life? But it can be helpful, for times when you’re feeling anxious, to have something that reminds you of home. Bring a treasured stuffed animal, a favorite book, photos of people you love or your favorite blanket. Having something to hold or hug or just look at when the strangeness of the new situations starts to get to you can help with your anxiety and make you feel like you belong in your new home.

To anyone headed to college next year — good luck! These really can be the best years of your life and if you’ve got an anxiety disorder, you’re incredibly brave for going. Your anxiety isn’t going to hold you back from succeeding, though. Have fun, study hard and most importantly, take care of yourself. You’ve got this.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Jacob Ammentorp Lund.

22
22
1

RELATED VIDEOS

TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

22 Reasons You Might Not Notice Your Friend's Anxiety

472
472
0

We often turn to our friends for a sense of support and community, because as the saying goes, that’s what friends are for. It can be easy to be open with friends about the latest happenings in your life, but sometimes, talking about mental health with the people who “get you” can still be difficult.

People with anxiety might feel like their struggle is a burden to others. Or they may be ashamed to admit they are struggling, for fear they might be seen as more their struggle and less them. But most of the time, friends of someone struggling with anxiety just want to know how they can be supportive.

That is why we asked people in our Mighty mental health community who struggle with anxiety to share the reasons their friends wouldn’t notice they were currently struggling. By looking out for the underlying ways people deal with their anxiety, we can continue to be supportive of our friends no matter what they’re going through.

Here is what they had to say:

1. “The days that I’m at my worst are the days I take time to put on makeup (my ‘war paint’) and make an extra effort to look collected and in control. Those are the days people don’t see me struggling — they only notice my outward appearance and aren’t part of my internal monologue.” — Mary-Catherine M.

2. “I say I’m not feeling well — a headache or stomach ache. When in reality, it’s my anxiety, but it takes less explanation and confusion when I just say I physically don’t feel well.” — Molly C.

3. “I try to hide it with as many jokes as I possibly can. Mostly dark and self-deprecating jokes. I feel like joking and being bubbly keeps me a little more relaxed when facing a group of people.” — John B.

4. “I do my best to hide it so I don’t make them panic. The last thing I need during an anxiety attack is for them to freak out.” — Matt Y.

5. “I mask it with an almost obsessive happy exterior. I act as though I’m fine, laugh at jokes (maybe sometimes ones that aren’t even funny); and I don’t even know why I pretend this way anymore, but I guess it is a habit now. Usually I’m actually feeling lousy and want to be at home in my room away from everything.” — Lily-Rose P.

6. “I definitely am one to cut people off temporarily just so I don’t have to deal with all of the pity they think I need. I hide my problems pretty well, but I know some people can see through my mask, so I just don’t talk to anyone.” —Lexi S.

7. “I have great grades, a great social life and everything looks ‘perfect’ on paper. No one thinks there’s something wrong when everything appears perfect.” — Brooke B.

8. “I always push myself past my limits and challenge myself in ways someone with this level of anxiety probably shouldn’t. I refuse to let this illness overcome who I am and want to be as a person. So if I’m ever anxious around my friends, I have coping mechanisms I do they wouldn’t notice: like counting to 10 in my head or breathing deeply. I could be having a normal conversation to them, but I could be feeling like I’m ‘dying inside.’ This only happens sometimes, and I am thankful for my friends understanding and supportive nature. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.” — Angeline M.

9. “I grew up with a mother who ‘didn’t believe in mental illness’ and always told me I’m ‘choosing to be miserable.’ So when my anxiety or depression is bad, I tend to put on a brave face. I feel like I have to deal with it by myself because I was raised to believe mental illness isn’t real and I was choosing to feel the way I feel.” — Ally D.

10. “I smile and laugh a lot and I’m very upbeat. But when I’m by myself, the demons come out and I start getting depressed and my anxiety comes on. People think I have anxiety and depression for attention so I try not to show it to others.” — Sidney P.

11. “I only struggle at work. Around my friends, I’m just ‘a bit high strung,’ which they accept me for.” — Sally C.

12. “My main anxiety symptom is a feeling of dread. This cannot be seen from the outside. Inside, I’m in so much mental anguish and I want to do anything to get out of the situation causing anxiety. But on the outside, I can look more or less ‘normal’ and like nothing is wrong.” — Kay C.

13. “I am naturally an extrovert. I also push myself and refuse to let anxiety stand in the way of me achieving my dreams.” — Nikki B.

14. “It somewhat comes off as confidence. I use false pride to get me through anxiety filled situations. I act as if I have everything figured out, but on the inside I am an insecure anxious mess.” — Suzy B.

15. “I’m usually the driver of the group, the one people ask for rides from. They don’t understand that sometimes I need to cancel because of my anxiety and the risks that come with driving while it’s happening.” — Melina A.

16. “I go off the grid. [My friends] won’t hear from me or see me [for] months because my head is a scrambled mess on fast forward and I don’t want them to see me that way or burden them. The longer the time I’m away, the more anxious I get about trying to reach out. They don’t notice because I’m not there.” — Brittany H.

17. “When I’m out with them and I get anxious, I flip between talking a lot or getting completely silent (depending on the situation). When riding in a car I usually talk a lot. When I’m out on the town, I usually shut up and try to find some way to take my mind off of things or escape entirely.” — Susan T.

18. “I put on a mask like no other and I go about my day, even though I could actually be on the verge of throwing my guts up because I’m panicking so bad. People have made me feel invalid for having something I can’t control, so I no longer show it unless they actually care and prove it.” — Hollie D.

19. “It’s not that they don’t notice, it’s just commonplace now — it’s become the norm. My best friend even compared me to the white rabbit from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ because I’m always in a hurry to leave because of one anxious trigger or another.” — Mary D.

20. “I space out a lot. Most times it’s because I’m daydreaming. I’m a daydreamer at heart, but other times it’s because I’m trying to get myself back in focus on what I’m doing. I just space out for a few minutes.” — Kari G.

21. “I have the ability to not just put my anxiety on the back burner, but to focus all of my energy on helping my friends instead. I choose to see the positive in every situation, no matter how anxious it makes me. [My] meds also keep me somewhat leveled.” — Melody A.

22. “I ramble. I find something to talk about and just go with it. I’m agreeable so they just think I’m easygoing rather than trying to be a people pleaser and not wanting anyone mad at me because I’m afraid they’ll disappear from my life.” — Jennifer N.

Can you relate?

472
472
0
TOPICS
, Listicle
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

A Reminder for When People Don't Take Your Mental Illness Seriously

1k
1k
0

This piece was written by a Thought Catalog contributor.

It’s hard because, I can feel terrible one day and fabulous the next. And people don’t understand it. They say, “Well if you have anxiety, you should have it all the time.” And they say, “Well you don’t look like the type of person to have depression.”

People need to realize everyone’s brains are wired differently. Everyone needs different amounts of care and medicine. I have a close friend who takes the smallest dosage of medication, meanwhile I take the highest amount of mine. It doesn’t mean her anxiety is any less significant than mine.

Not everyone with anxiety is going to have the same symptoms. Not everyone with depression is going to “seem” like it. In fact, if you look around the circle of your friends, you probably think you’re all alone with your mental illness. But I can almost guarantee you, you’re not.

Everyone single person you know is fighting something.

Mental illnesses are incredibly common. And you know what? They aren’t fun. They aren’t cool. They aren’t pretty or beautiful.

They. Are. Hard.

Whatever mental health difficulty you are struggling with, I want you to know whether it’s “high-functioning” or “low functioning,” it’s still an illness. It still matters. It is still legitimate. And it doesn’t mean you struggle any less or more than other people who struggle.

Take care of yourself. Get yourself the medication you need with the help of a doctor. Don’t listen to the people who question it. Who question you. They don’t understand what you go through on a day-to-day basis. They don’t understand what you go through when you’re struggling.

Don’t let anybody say their struggle is greater than yours. Don’t let anybody compare your illness to theirs. And don’t let someone say you don’t need help because you look “fine.”

You are the only one who knows your body like you do. You are the only one who lives in your head and in your mind. Your feelings are valid. Your illness is real. And it doesn’t matter what people label it as. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you you’re “weak” or “small” or “lying.” If they don’t get it, it’s their problem.

It’s possible to feel like you are dying on the inside while doing laundry. While trying to sleep. While working. While breathing. And at the end of the day, no one will ever know how much you struggle.

And at the end of the day, no one knows your truth — except for you.

This story is brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via meyrass.

1k
1k
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

When Words Failed to Describe My Anxiety

33
33
1

Some of the most painful moments of struggle are the ones where nothing makes sense… ugh, wait. That sounded yucky. Phrasing it that way sounds painfully dull, the words are just too overused. So much so, that for me, it’s diluted the truth of them. But even the phrase itself addresses that very fact. When nothing makes sense, the most frustrating barrier can be a loss of words.

Anxiety and I are well acquainted. When I first attempted to translate its inside presence into outside understanding, I realized just how much stock I’m used to putting into each word. Living with constant fear of judgment has made any communication a true battle. I realized I was thinking every word mattered to such extreme extents, that I wasn’t able get any out. I forgot there was no limit. No limit on the numbers of words I used, topics I tried or times forgiveness was received. Even though people wanted to hear, I didn’t know how to reach them. I realized I couldn’t be anything if I didn’t let myself be anything to anyone.

Learning to free my words was a difficult process. For me, I think I had felt words weren’t enough. Simply saying “sad,”  “lonely” or “scared” — that didn’t seem to mean anything anymore. We use those words so much that I felt that we couldn’t possibly use them to describe the physical desolation they were meant to indicate. Come on words, you had one job! Please, just explain, just denote some reason, just sort out this tangled chaos, please. But words are so stubborn, and so subjective from person to person, it takes so much tweaking to externalize what is so solidly internal.

After some practice, what I’ve found helps, is reconnecting the origin of feeling back into words, into any and all words! Let “happy” truly indicate that fluttering carefree frolicking feeling. Emotions are such a crucial part of how we gauge worth. When they become glossed over as “normal,” they lose all meaning. When someone tells you something was “hard,” they probably experienced many more layers than we might commonly understand through just one word.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, even though it can take paragraphs of intricate prose to whittle out what it is to feel, it only takes one sudden, densely packed moment to experience what every one of those words tries to convey. No wonder it hurts. Ow.

I believe everyone feels those same surprising extremes, but not everyone is lucky enough to have the words (and people) required to transform the inside, out. So I guess it’s a reminder to well, just be nice. It matters. It’s hard to be a human. And you’d better believe when I say “hard,” I’m indicating the kind of hard with all the unspeakable emotions that shadow it. There are so many layers behind one word. It takes listening through the layers to see that often, we’re a lot more similar than it sometimes seems.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian.

33
33
1
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

22 Fictional Characters People With Anxiety Relate To

257
257
0

When you live with anxiety, sometimes you’ll do whatever it takes to get outside of your head for a bit. When you’re fighting debilitating symptoms like panic attacks and racing thoughts that won’t stop, sometimes a good movie or TV show can provide a much-needed “break” from your brain. While fictional characters usually lead very different lives than we do, we can often relate to their personalities and how they navigate situations.

Whether the characters you relate to fly on broomsticks, survive high school with perfectly-timed sarcastic comments or pack a punch in an action flick, fictional characters can be so relatable because they capture real human emotions.

To better understand how people with anxiety relate to their favorite characters, we asked members of our Mighty community to share one fictional character they identify with. 

Here’s what they shared with us:

1. Tony Stark from “Iron Man”

tony stark
via “Iron Man” Facebook page

“I know a lot of people didn’t like that movie specifically because of that part of the story, but I related to him so much. Of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters, Iron Man has been my favorite, and to see a superhero dealing with what I deal with every day, it made me feel a bit ‘super.’” — Kristina W.

2. Fear from “Inside Out”

fear inside out
via “Inside Out” Facebook page

“He’s disproportionally panicked about everything and always assumes the worst. I relate to his unintentionally spastic demeanor. Fear is meant to be protective. But for people with clinical anxiety, life feels frantic as though Fear perpetually takes control of the whole brain.” — Lisa M.

3. Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

lisbeth salander
via “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Facebook page

I get tattoos of reminders of things I should never forget, and I relate to her isolated nature, and adapting to horrible situations and always getting back up after someone shuts or kicks you down. She stares her fears in the face and kicks ass. Yes, please.” — Chriss T.

4. Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy from “Star Trek”

leonard mccoy
via “Star Trek” Facebook page

“He’s harnessed his innate ‘worrying’ into helping people. I’d like to think one day I’ll figure out a way to do the same, but for now, it gives me hope that high anxiety can still mean valuable and lovable.” — Jill A.

5. Randall Pearson from “This Is Us”

randall this is us
via “This is Us” Facebook page

“He did so well depicting the stages and the final breaking point. He rebounds though. He gets help and gets better. That’s where I am and will always be — getting better.” — Susan T.

6. Monica Geller from “Friends”

monica friends
via “FRIENDS (TV show)” Facebook page

“She’s much calmer if she has a situation under control, and that’s exactly how I am. If I feel like I’m in control, my anxiety isn’t quite as bad.” — Vanessa B.

7. Elsa from “Frozen”

Elsa
via “Frozen” Facebook page

“She was always petrified she’d do something wrong, and I personally interpret her running away and fighting with Anna as panic attacks. When I’m really in a bad place, I’ll braid my hair and wear a tiara around my house to remind me to ‘Let it go.’” — Emily F.

8. Harry Potter from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

Harry Potter
via “Harry Potter” Facebook page

“Harry Potter, when he first encounters the Dementors and feels total dread and panic. That’s what anxiety is like for me. Also the anticipation of encountering the Dementors causes Harry immense anxiety — the same goes for me: fear of experiencing anxiety is so intense.” — Krystina S.

9. Squidward from “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Squidward
via “SpongeBob SquarePants” Facebook page

“Honestly I relate to Squidward [from] ‘SpongeBob.’ He’s like me because I don’t want to be bothered, and I don’t like being around people. I just like being alone and with myself. I’m not crabby, but I don’t like talking. I prefer to be the outsider.” — Victoria F.

10. Katniss Everdeen from “Catching Fire”

katniss everdeen
via “Hunger Games” Facebook page

“In Catching Fire, she has panic attacks and flashbacks, and in the later movies has to constantly ground herself back to reality. It’s comforting to see a character with anxiety brought on from their past able to fight back and still live a reasonably normal, happy life despite all they have gone through.” — Marissa K.

11. Sherlock Holmes from “Sherlock”

Sherlock
via “Sherlock” Facebook page

“He’s very particular with what he does and how he does things, and if it doesn’t [go how he’d like it,] he easily gets flustered or frustrated, which I relate to. I have processes that help me and if any are disrupted, I feel I have a harder time processing.” — Julia C.

12. Stiles Stilinski from “Teen Wolf”

stiles teen wolf
via “Teen Wolf” Facebook

“He is the first TV personality I could recognize myself in. The character deals with ADHD, trauma, panic attacks and anxiety.” — Jeske D.

13. Luna Lovegood from the “Harry Potter” series

luna lovegood
via “Harry Potter” Facebook page

“Luna Lovegood because I’m a bit out there, open minded and I tend to daydream a lot. And I’m OK with that.” — Hollie M.

14. Yuri Katsuki from “Yuri on Ice”

Yuri on Ice
via “Yuri on Ice” Facebook page

“The way he views himself and talks about himself down to his negative opinion on almost of his own performances is something I relate to.” — Katie W.

15. Sam Winchester from “Supernatural”

sam winchester

“This character has dealt with loss, trauma, addiction and difficulties beyond what it seems a human can bear. I can relate to that. And yet he keeps on going, keeps hoping and trying to make the world better. Bonus, Jared Padalecki does a lot for bringing awareness to mental health issues IRL, so double kudos to him!” — Amanda E.

16. Chuckie Finster from “Rugrats”

chuckie finster
via “Rugrats” Facebook page

“Timid, dislikes being lonely, believes a million things can go wrong and probably will.” — Felicia Z.

17. Tobias “Four” Eaton from the “Divergent” series.

tobias divergent
via “Divergent Series” Facebook page

“He grew up in a very sheltered life, but things weren’t as perfect as they appeared to be. He tried so hard to be strong, but once he met Tris Prior he could be his true self. I find I have to be strong. I am grateful for those in my life who have allowed me to be ‘real’ with them. Pretending gets to be exhausting after awhile.” — Melody A.

18. Data from “Star Trek”

Data Star Trek
via “Star Trek” Facebook page

“I have social anxiety and I find myself analyzing people and trying to find the best ways to fit in with them. Data is an AI in the show that constantly tried to fit in and teach himself how to properly interact with the people on the ship, he wants nothing more than to be like them even though he wasn’t made for it.” — Stephanie F.

19. Blu from “Rio”

Blu rio
via “Rio” Facebook page

“I know this sounds silly. I’m 37. But the character is really sweet and overcomes his fear of the unknown.” — Jeana G.

20. Daria Morgendorffer from “Daria”

daria
via “Daria” Facebook page

“Sarcasm is her main language, she procrastinates, she has just one best friend, nobody understands her and she has a cynical world view. I relate to her on every level.” — Megan H.

21. Frodo Baggins from “Lord of the Rings”

frodo baggins
via “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” Facebook page

“He has to carry a very heavy burden and face the challenges that come with it. Despite this, Frodo just keeps going and he has to place his trust in others in order to succeed — something I really struggle with. Luckily, he has Sam with him every step of the way. I identify with this as well. My husband’s name is Sam and he really is the Samwise to my Frodo. He helps me carry my anxiety and doesn’t abandon me on a cliff when he thinks I’ve eaten all the Lembas bread.” — Ellen G.

22.  Piglet from “Winnie the Pooh”

piglet
via “Piglet” Facebook page

“Piglet! He’s so frantic about everything, and everyone around him loves him no matter what he does. His friends soothe him and help him, and everything works out in the end.” — Kimberly E.

Who would you add?

257
257
0
TOPICS
, Listicle
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Thank You, Mom, for Supporting Me Through My Anxiety Disorder

23
23
2

My mother is my best friend. She knows me better than anyone else does, and not just because she gave birth to me. She has seen me at my absolute worst and has discovered first hand what it’s like to live with an anxiety disorder by watching me.

My mother is one of the least anxious people I know. She has a go with the flow attitude and can always roll with the punches. So when I told her I wanted to seek out counseling for my anxiety disorder, I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. We never talked about mental health in my family growing up and I was nervous that her opinion of me would change, but it didn’t. I thought she wouldn’t be able to understand what I was talking about, and at first she honestly didn’t. She educated herself though and learned all she could to try to help me. She has since become my biggest ally in this battle with my mental health.

Through the years she has never made me feel bad about my anxiety and now understands better than anyone what I go through. She has witnessed many of my panic attacks and has become my support system because she gets it on a level that many of my other family members and friends don’t.

I began to notice that when I was having a panic attack out somewhere, I usually ended up calling her. When I was going to a interview at a university, and got lost along the way wandering through this huge campus, I called her as I started to freak out. Or when I had a panic attack on a bus and had to get off at the wrong stop and was a crying mess, I called her. And I can’t forget all the times I had panic attacks while driving around a new city, or feeling like everyone is laughing at me in a mall or having a meltdown in a church bathroom.

 

During those times I call her because I mostly think I’m dying and I need a witness to testify if it actually does happen (but so far I’m still alive). I also call her because I feel alone and I need someone to remind me that I’m not, and she does that. Even when it’s late at night or early in the morning, I know she is the one person who will answer my call and tell me it’s going to be OK. Just hearing her voice calms me down and makes me realize I can get through this.

Sometimes I feel like a child when I call her begging for help, unable to do this on my own. It makes me feel like I’m not an adult and can’t handle my anxiety. In those moments, I have to tell myself that it’s OK to reach out for help even if it’s from your mother.

I often wonder what I’m going to do when she’s gone. My anxiety tells me I will have no one to call and be completely alone. My anxiety is wrong though, because I truly believe that even when my mother leaves this earth, she will never leave me because she will always be in my heart and mind telling me, “Monique, you can do this.”

My mother has made me strong. Her confidence and belief in me means the world. It makes me believe I can get through anything including a nasty panic attack. I’ve heard many people say their mother provides them with the same kind of comfort as mine, even if they don’t battle a mental illness every day. I think that is what mothers are meant to do — love, support and comfort their children no matter what. Yes, we the children have to grow up and stand on our own two feet, but I think it makes everyone feel better knowing that most times their mother is just a phone call away. It makes me feel like I can go out into the world every day because someone always has my back even if we are miles and miles apart.

Blake Shelton is one of my favorite country music artists. In his song, “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking,” he sings one of my favorite lines, “Call up momma when all else fails.” That line means many things to many different people, but to me it says perfectly what I feel about calling up my mother when I’m having a panic attack. When everything goes downhill and fails, I know I can count on my mother to be there to at least say that it’s going to be alright — and that’s all I need.

I’m very fortunate that my mother loves and accepts me and all the baggage that my anxiety disorder brings. I’m not just trying to brag about my mother either, but I know that I am a stronger woman because of her. We have always had a special bond with her being a single mother and raising me, but I’m so glad that not even my anxiety could break that bond between us.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via digitalskillet

23
23
2
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Real People. Real Stories.

8,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.