I feel like I haven’t discussed my anxiety in a while. I thought that if I ignored it, that it would calmly fade into the background until it’s nothing more than a distant memory. That, my friends, is a combination of wishful thinking and denial—coping mechanisms that never do seem to work.
The truth of the matter is that I’ve learned to accept my anxiety so that it doesn’t run my life. But it is always there, a silent copilot on my life’s great adventure.
One in five is the number of people who will be affected by mental illness in a given year. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the topic and introduce a healthy discussion here on this blog. Let’s talk about it. It’s uncomfortable, sure, but if suffering in silence is the only alternative, wouldn’t you rather find a tribe of people who understands?
I’ll never forget my first panic attack, and though I absolutely hated the experience, it taught me things about myself that I’ll carry with me forever. I don’t take things for granted. I’m comfortable shedding the weight of friendships that serve no purpose. I strive (and often fail) to be the best version of myself and I’m proud of the woman I’ve become.
But I also can’t stop tweezing my eyebrows and freaking out in crowded spaces. And sometimes in empty coffee shops. One of the fun side effects of having a mental health disorder is that it catches you unaware, when you least expect it.
Anxiety teaches you things. It can also destroy your insides in a matter of seconds.
I think often on the many senseless violent acts that could have been avoided had someone intervened. It’s a discussion for another blog post entirely, but what if. What if. What if. What if we finally, and collectively, reduced the stigma associated with having a mental health disorder, because one in five means that there are more of us than you might have thought.
My name is Charlotte and I am one in five.