Why I’m Forgiving Myself for the Things Anxiety Makes Me Do


This piece was written by Lauren Jarvis-Gibson,a Thought Catalog contributor.

I don’t blame my anxiety for everything, of course. I don’t blame my anxiety for the losses or heartaches or broken moments. But anxiety, is a part of me. And I have to learn how to forgive myself for it.

I have to learn how to forgive myself for the panic attacks. To forgive myself for when the air seems to turn to nothing, and my lungs can’t seem to inflate. For all the times when my hands shake. For when all of me is shaking until I fall asleep. I have to forgive myself for all of the breathless breaths. For all the sleepless nights. For all the nightmares that turn into reality.

I have to learn to forgive myself for how my brain processes information. That sometimes my brain wants to flee from confrontation. From anything that signals danger, even if it isn’t logical.

I have to learn to forgive myself for all of my bad days. For the days where I don’t want to do anything but lie in bed and stare at the walls. For the days where I don’t do anything but press my body further towards my mattress, wanting everything to go away. I’m slowly learning to forgive myself for when I can’t see the light. For when all I see is darkness.

I have to learn to forgive myself for the mental health days I have to take off from work. For the days where I simply can’t work because my brain feels like it’s on fire and my lungs feel like they are collapsing and my bedroom is caving in.

I have to learn to forgive myself for the cancellations. For the days where I lie and say I’m sick. For the days where I don’t have enough energy to get up and go to happy hour or a Saturday night party. I have to forgive myself for saying no.

I have to learn to forgive myself for the times where I’m going about my day-to-day life and all of a sudden, my heart thumps loudly and beats faster and there’s nothing I can do but wait it out.

I have to learn to forgive myself for all the trips to the doctors and psychiatrists and hospital visits. I have to learn to forgive myself for the time I have taken up. For the space I have taken up. For the money and the energy and the hours my parents have given up for me.

I have to learn to forgive myself for everything. For everything anxiety has done to me and done to others and the world.

I have to learn to forgive my anxiety. Because at the end of the day, it’s not my fault. It’s not my brain’s fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just the way I am.

And I have to forgive all of me. Because I have to love all of me. Even the anxiety. Even all the chaos and the panic and the struggle.

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

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Getty Images photo via Transfuchsian


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