Let’s Talk About Anxiety

I woke up this morning in a sweat. My heart was racing as I jolted awake from some sort of nightmare. I immediately started thinking about things that make me nervous about the future, and how the heck I’m going to get through it all. My stomach dropped deep down into my abdomen as my heart leapt straight through my chest. Apparently you sometimes can’t even escape anxiety in your dreams.

Anxiety is a cousin of depression. They’re close in the sense they both can be based on fear and uncertainty, but they give two very different feelings. Depression is hollow and dark. It feels like a rainy day in a swamp, with fog as far as the eye can see. You know it’s a wide open space, but you can’t muster up the energy to move around freely. You are curled up in a ball, only vaguely noticing that there is a world around you. I think often with depression, the person in the middle of the fog can really only see a few feet around them and can’t tell that there is light and beauty outside the dark swamp. In fact, there are still beautiful flowers and little glimmers of light while you are there, but they can be difficult to see if you give up and stay curled in your little ball. Rays of light come in the form of good friends, puppies, working out, and helping others. There is always a reason to keep fighting, but everyone understands if you need to take a break for awhile. It is exhausting when you feel like you’re alone and don’t know how to pull yourself up off the ground.


Anxiety paints a different picture. Instead of being a more introverted feeling, anxiety is the craziest extrovert you’ve ever seen. It is wild and red, and hot to the touch. Anxiety makes you feel claustrophobic in your own body, and creates a strong desire to run away from yourself. With depression, you would rather be able to get back in to your own body and figure out how to find yourself again. Anxiety makes you want to forget everything there is about you and run away to create a new life. You want to turn your brain off to stop thinking about anything and everything and find a way to sleep again, but you can’t take a vacation from your thoughts. Both depression and anxiety can create a pit in your stomach, but they’ve often settled there for entirely different reasons.

I have tiptoed along the line of depression sometimes, but I think having some down days is part of the human experience, so it’s very different than it was being in the darkness I have only been in once before. Anxiety is a much more familiar feeling I let sneak into my heart. It starts by catching the door with its foot, then shoves its way in guns blazing. “You’re not good enough,” “You won’t be able to handle the future,” and, “You can’t do the thing” are all lies anxiety screams as loudly as it can. It makes up elaborate and unlikely stories of what your future is going to look like, but speaks them with confidence and as truth. It’s a lot easier said than done to choose not to believe the lies, as a simple, “just don’t worry about it,” or, “calm down” won’t ease an anxious person’s heart. It is possible to find peace, but takes a lot of swallowing your own pride, accepting help from others, and being gentle with yourself.

Anxiety and depression are both so prevalent in today’s world. I don’t know if the age of social media has caused a rise in mental health issues or we’re just more open about them now, but I’d say more people than not have had a taste of these feelings, even if they haven’t been officially diagnosed with anything. I think we underestimate how not-alone we are in the world and how similar our feelings are to one another.

Talking about anxiety makes me anxious. I still think people are quick to judge, label, and make assumptions about people they don’t know. Despite genuinely believing most people have a good headspace about talking about mental health, I know there is still ignorance and confusion in this space of the world. I know that therapy is still stigmatized, and that people don’t always love and support things they don’t understand. So many people, though, who you would never guess are fighting difficult battles by themselves. Sometimes the most beautiful, smiley rays of sunshine have a darkness that is clouding their heart, and I am so thankful that celebrities and people in the limelight who have platforms are speaking up about their struggles more. Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Mindy Kaling, and Stephen Colbert are all people who live to make others laugh, but struggle with anxiety. Jim Carey, Owen Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sarah Silverman have all been very open about dealing with depression. It isn’t just comedians who struggle with mental health, though. There is an enormous list of people who range from athletes to astronauts who have been affected by depression or anxiety. Even Abraham Lincoln is thought to have had severe depression and anxiety; they just didn’t have a word for it then.

My purpose in writing this is because I think it’s so important that we realize we are never alone in our thoughts or feelings. People need to be taught from a young age that it’s okay for everything to not be okay sometimes. People should realize that we all have battles we’re fighting, that we can share our struggles with our loved ones, and most of all, to be kind to everyone we meet. I am not “Instafamous,” do not have a large group of followers, or a particularly captivating life to share about, but I want to open my heart to the people who do read this in hopes it makes someone feel less alone. I see you, and care about you. We need you here, and you are important. Please don’t ever forget that.

13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Anxiety

  1. You are not alone in your suffering. Some of us understand what it’s like to have uncontrollable emotions. In my own case I have the whole kaleidoscope of extreme emotions, sometimes all on tha same day.
    Borderline Personality Disorder can do that to you.
    Be well Sweetheart ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what that is but I’m sorry you have to deal with that. 😦 It is so hard trying to make yourself change your thoughts! I wish there was a switch to turn off your brain for a bit. 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was wonderful to read. You really described both anxiety and depression perfectly. I deal with anxiety a lot. And it’s sometimes hard to explain it to people who don’t deal with anxiety. It’s too easy to tell someone to relax or brush off their fears. But I do think we’re heading in the right direction. I think the reason why so many people are dealing with depression/anxiety is because we have a better understanding and are more open about it. The stigma surrounding mental disorder isn’t completely gone but we’re working towards it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth, it means a lot that people have been brave enough to comment on here. Ironically enough I got pretty anxious before posting it because of the people who don’t understand what anxiety feels like or how difficult it is to control. You are SO right though that more people are understanding and accepting it because they realize how prevalent it is. I am glad because I hope it’s something we can all work to fix more. I would love to be less anxious, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you are taking about this! I had a bad bout earlier this year and I still don’t know what caused it. It was debilitating. The amazing thing was that I started talking about it with friends and coworkers and almost every single person I talked to had a story about their anxiety. I’m glad people are more open to talking about it. It’s important. There is definitely still a stigma with mental health care, but it is getting better. Keep it up hon!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Calla, and thanks for commenting! I think it’s scary to share something so personal with others, but it takes a big burden off yourself to admit to others that you are struggling. I have found that almost everyone I speak with about it has dealt with some kind of issue too! It’s really amazing how much less alone you can feel with sharing little pieces of your life and heart with others. Thank you so much for reaching out. I was scared to post this, but feel so much more at ease knowing other people can relate. ❤

      Also, sometimes I can't quite pinpoint what's making me anxious either. It's difficult but I think you can definitely find ways to cope. I find working out helps me a lot, and I recently started doing yoga which has been great for my body. Have a great weekend girl!


  4. Thanks for this. There is some days where I don’t feel well. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone about it because I feel like I am just complaining and not being positive. However, I need to vent more and express how I feel. I also need to accept that some days I will not feel well and expressing how I feel really helps me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, thank you for commenting. It seriously makes me feel better knowing others can relate (although I don’t want you to ever feel this way because I know how hard it is!). Venting can help so much but I totally need to do it more too. I am really good at internalizing things until I decide to write about them, haha. I hope you’re doing well today Jaimie and thanks so much for sharing. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I am not overreacting. Yes, venting helps so much. I internalize things too but I feel like I’m bad at hiding it. People use to tell me that I wear my heart in my sleeve. I hope you’re doing well too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are definitely not overreacting just for feeling a certain way about something. We can’t always help our feelings even if we can technically work on helping them, if that makes sense. I’m totally with you on wearing your heart on your sleeve in some regards! In others I think I cover things up by being smiley all the time haha. So glad we met on here girl! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

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