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Thank You to Those Who Have Helped Me Through My Anxiety

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I know I’ve told you these simple words many times before, but I would like to say them again:

Thank you.

In any situation, these are nice words to say and hear. But I wanted to try and explain just how much they mean when I say them.

Unfortunately, not a lot of people seem to understand mental health issues. I believe stigma and lack of information on mental health are still rampant, and few people understand just how common, yet how difficult, mental disorders can be. Many people who have struggled with mental health may have had at least a handful of bad experiences sharing their struggles with people who were not very understanding or helpful, which, given a vulnerable state, may have only made them feel worse.

Because of that, it truly means the world to me that you are not one of those people; I thank you for helping me deal with my mental health issues. It was not easy for me to share them with you, and probably when I did it, even though I trusted you enough to share, I was definitely hesitant and anxious about how you’d react. It’s definitely easier for me to say I can’t attend an event you invited me to because I had the flu instead of telling you I was having a bad bout of anxiety that kept me tied to my bed, unable to relax, have fun or enjoy a meal with you because I felt sick to my stomach and had a bad headache (because mental illness can also cause physical symptoms).

Thank you for understanding when I explained the real reason I missed your event. Thank you for allowing me to be totally honest with you. Thank you for taking me seriously and not dismissing my symptoms as “made up.” Thank you for giving me the space I needed. Thank you for walking to the doctor’s office with me.

Thank you for staying by my side when I had a panic attack at work, and for getting me a glass of water, helping me become distracted and helping me breathe. Thank you for all the text messages — especially the late night ones. Thank you for asking me what I needed instead of telling me what to do.

Thank you for the hugs.

Thank you for reminding me that this is not my fault and that I’m stronger than my anxiety tells me I am. Thank you for getting me food when I could barely get out of my bed. Thank you for going out with me so I could have at least one day of fun and relaxation. Thank you for making me smile and laugh when I needed it the most.

Thank you for just being with me through it all. People like you are hard to find, and they mean the world to people like me.

Thank you.

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Originally published: August 28, 2017
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