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When Your Happiness Gives You Anxiety

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I posted earlier this week on social media late at night, in a full-blown anxiety attack, about how it’s OK to admit you struggle. But, being the human I am and feeling fearful of judgment and letting people see the “messy, not so funny, not so inspiring” side of me, I took it down.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I felt like I needed to remove that part of my story. Was I ashamed? Was I worried about exposing myself? Was I sharing too much?

Then today, with this heaviness on my heart, feeling completely overwhelmed and overworked on everything in my life, I cried. Not a few tears and a laugh about it after — a meltdown. A lock-yourself-in-your-bathroom, sob-’til-you-can’t breathe, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking cry.

It was then I realized just how much I was carrying around. I’m a conundrum. I’m a happy anxious person. Being happy and anxious is confusing. It’s like you’re on a high wire and you’re balancing just to keep it together.

The thing is, my anxiety doesn’t give a sh*t if I’m happy or not. It comes, and I get overwhelmed. I start to think about how whatever is making me feel happy might end up falling through, or what if someone is silently judging me and doesn’t think I deserve it? What if I actually don’t deserve it? Oh man. I didn’t know this room could spin. Maybe I should sit down and cry. And that’s how I ended up on my bathroom floor.

My point to all this? Yes, I’m happy. I’m grateful for my incredibly blessed life. I believe each day is a blessing and so is this life I’ve been given.

And I’m anxious — sometimes to the point of being frozen by dread. Can’t-breathe, can’t-speak, can’t-think kind of dread.

And I am learning I can be both, and do as I have always done — keep on embracing each day, the good and the bathroom-floor-crying bad. Just talking about it makes me feel better.

Follow this journey on Surviving Shelby.

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Originally published: November 8, 2016
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