DISCLAIMER: Please note that I am not a medical professional, counselor, therapist, psychologist, or any of the like there of. I am not licensed to give professional advice in terms of mental health disorders & medical advice. All statements below are my own personal experiences and personal advice. I am not liable for any outcomes or decisions made based off of this writing or other articles written by myself on this website. Please see a licensed, medical professional for mental health advice and/or counseling.
One year ago this month, I called to schedule a doctors appointment that was long overdue.
For the first time EVER, in all of my years of suffering, I asked for help with my debilitating anxiety and newly creeping in depression. Truthfully, this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Waiting in the Doctor’s office, I remember panicking, breathing fast, and my mind racing. How would she be able to help me? Will she think I’m crazy? What if there is no treatment? Am I really doing this? Should I’ve even done this? The nurse called my name and I froze. “Here goes nothing” I thought to myself.
As I sat there talking with the doctor I was trembling and crying, I felt like I could hardly form any words. But thank the Lord, she was SO helpful and easy going, explaining everything and giving me options, making me feel like I wasn’t crazy in the slightest. She recommended I start taking a daily medication and also gave me “homework” to find a therapist. I was afraid that she would just shove medication in my face and say, “here, this will work.” She answered all of my questions, was not biased, and gave me the full ability to choose what I wanted to do.
Then, after completing the first therapy session, I felt there was finally a light at the end of the anxiety tunnel. I remember crying to my new therapist saying, “Am I always going to feel like this? Is this the rest of my life?” I was beyond scared that I wouldn’t feel like myself ever again. My therapist looked at me and smiled. She answered back to me, “No, you won’t always feel like this. This is temporary and it is possible to overcome it.” As soon as she spoke those words I felt so much relief!
Was I immediately cured after those appointments? No, I still really struggled for awhile. However, driving home from that initial session was the first time I could take a deep breath worry free. I really won’t feel like this forever, anxiety won’t take over my life, I will feel like myself again!
I gave myself one year. One year to really work on the anxiety, to get down to the bottom of it, to stop letting it get in the way of everything. To start healing and learning, to actually work on myself and my mental health. I am still working on it, but I took that last year to dive deep into healing.
It has absolutely been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I have been able to challenge myself, challenge the anxiety, learn about it and from it, overcome it, cope with it, and not fear it anymore (most of the time).
Anxiety sucks but it has given me strength. The strength to empathize with others, courage to be vulnerable, and the ability to talk about it openly to just about everyone I know. If you would’ve told me one year ago that I would openly talk about my anxiety, write about it, published an article in a magazine for it, have videos about it go viral, and actually be able to function like me again?! I don’t know if I would’ve believed you.
I still struggle from time to time, but I am SO happy to be here. To be at the place I am with my mental health, and just life overall.
I am joyfully Erin again.
Man, what a year it has been. I know it’s been a crazy year for the entire world, but this has been a year for the books. I got help, we moved twice, we bought a home, we made new (and really great) friends, we got another PUPPY, we were and are able to celebrate holidays in the house that we own. All of these things feel like such a blessing.
I hope that whatever state you are in today, struggling or not, that you would have the courage to ask for help. It may just be one of the best things you’ve ever done.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Thanks for reading,
~Erin, The Short Wife