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The Things I Actually Love About My Anxiety and Depression

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Depression and anxiety are debilitating disorders. I don’t think anyone with depression and anxiety would argue with that. It took me years to admit I was legitimately sick and to see my illnesses for what they really are. But over the past year, with a ton of help from my husband and my therapist, I’ve come to realize that not only are these illnesses able to be overcome, but they have taught me so much.

As ironic as it may sound, depression had taught me how to be happy. The bad days only make the good ones all the more grand. Trust me, even a simple chore such as doing the dishes can be exciting and fun when it’s been weeks since you’ve had the energy to do dishes. There’s also nothing quite like stepping out of the shower for the first time in days. Even stepping out of the house and feeling the cool breeze against me can inspire tears of joy. I can get out of bed. I can shower. I can even go to the gym. I can go to school. I can pay my bills. I can go shopping for clothes. I can enjoy an amazing meal at a restaurant. I can talk to my friends and family. All these things that most people wouldn’t think twice about are the things that make me excited for life… because for the first time in a very long time, I can live it.

Anxiety has taught me to be brave. I cannot tell you just how invigorating it is to finally have the courage to confidently crack a witty joke in front of your friends and family. Also, I finally know what it’s like to unapologetically shake off criticism without overanalyzing it. After years of cowering to my fears, I feel like I can conquer anything now that I’ve gotten my first taste of true confidence. For the first time in a very long time, I can look in the mirror and tell that person, “you know what, you’re not a horrible person. I love you.” You simply cannot put a price on that feeling.

Both of them have taught me that no matter what, as long as I keep fighting, I am still beautiful. I’m still beautiful even when I’m on the floor leaning against the fridge trying to catch my breath during a panic attack. I’m still beautiful when I’m laying my head on my desk because I’m exhausted. My struggles are simply a part of what makes me beautiful, and I am not any less of a person because I struggle. These struggles only make me stronger and for that I am thankful.

I still do battle with depression and anxiety, no doubt. However, I no longer feel sorry for myself, and I no longer despair. Depression has shown me how to be happy, anxiety has shown me how to be brave, and both have shown me just how strong I really am.

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Getty Images photo via Vik_Y

Originally published: February 1, 2018
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