The Mighty Logo

How My Grief and Anxiety Are Connected

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Life’s natural cycle can be a beautiful nightmare.

The joy brought upon a new birth for a family is celebrated, though when a relative, a friend or a partner is taken away, it can break our hearts. Especially when it’s unexpected.

I lost three close relatives in the span of 11 months last year, and I am still struggling. I have never truly accepted my losses, as I fell to pieces over the unnatural occurrences of lives that fell too short.

Dealing with both grief and anxiety is tiring, and I’ve considered that maybe they are linked. Perhaps they’re connected through invisible ties: the emotions I locked away, and the fears I hold onto, pulled tightly together.

Now, I keep my guard up, but I love intensely.

I live in fear of those close to me being taken away and that I may never say goodbye to those I love, so I constantly try to tell them their importance in my life. Part of my anxiety means I compulsively calculate every possibility that could occur, and I choose to believe the negative ones will happen. As well as this, my separation anxiety means I try to hold on to those close to me and I struggle being apart from them. I become afraid if I’m not with them, then bad things will be inflicted onto them and we will both experience the consequences.

This can become inconvenient, as I’m a 17-year-old who is being encouraged to explore, and experience new things. But I’m too scared to leave the safety net of my childhood home.

We’re always taught the dangers of attachment, but why would you prevent yourself from being happy, just because one day, something may end. We don’t know when that day will come, so why dwell on it? Perhaps you can never be prepared for it, but I believe it is so important not to limit your happiness just because of life’s inevitable conclusion for everyone.

Death is never going to be easy.

I have found that I love to love, and although it hurts when someone is taken away from me, I know I will accept this one day. I cannot allow it to hurt me, so I will always choose to love.

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

Unsplash photo via Eddy Lackmann.

Originally published: May 19, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home