Today, I had the Listen, Lucy site up in the background as I prepared for the next step for the organization but as I tried to work on my “To-Do” list, I felt like I couldn’t focus. My thoughts were getting jumbled, I started to feel anxious and insecure. I started to sweat, felt like I was going to cry and I couldn’t figure out what was making me feel like this. I got out my journal and started to write out how I feel. I wrote about how my anxiety has been a real struggle for me over the past week and that I haven’t felt this bad in a very long time. I explained what it felt like physically and what was happening mentally and that there was no big incident that was making me feel this way-- there was no cause. My anxiety was looming over my head for a week now--making my days more difficult, less enjoyable and a constant, never-ending fight with my mind. Through writing this out, I came to a realization.
I am a person who is living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, but I really only talk about the Panic Disorder. In some ways, describing my panic disorder and panic attacks is easier. There is a cause and there is a physical effect. There is an incident and explosion. As difficult as it is to go through, it is easier for me to explain this to people. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a different animal-- at least for me. It is like this intense worry that sits in your stomach, your mind and your chest all day but you can’t figure out what is wrong. You can’t make it go away. It is the annoying, defeating side of my anxiety that can completely exhaust me until I am reduced to tears. It is the side of my anxiety that makes me want to curl up in a ball, close my eyes and wish I would fall asleep and wake up a different person. It is the anxiety that slowly rocks me to my core.
Even though it is a difficult thing for me to talk about, I wanted to share this because if someone is reading this and is experiencing the hell that is Generalized Anxiety-- please know that I understand. I am currently experiencing the nagging, petty, all-consuming worry that sits in your gut until it doesn’t. I am struggling with you. You aren’t crazy. Please don’t sink into that lonely feeling. If you don’t let it control your life neither will I. Talk about it-- write about it--- tell me about it if it helps you and know that we are all in this together.
Knowing that Listen, Lucy is creating a community of support and acceptance is beyond comforting to me on my off days-- and do I have some off days. I want to always be a role model of tenacity and acceptance. I want to make sure people look at me and think I am doing my best to be a strong, positive force in the world. I think in order to do that, it is important to me to admit when I am weak. Pure honesty is what makes Listen, Lucy unique. And if I am being completely honest-- I am still working on myself and my struggles every day and I never want to lead on that I have it figured out. I assure you that I do not. But what I do know is that hearing your stories, seeing your support, feeling your acceptance and love of me, each other and of yourselves is something that encourages me to continuously work on figuring it out.
Thank you all for being brave enough to tell your stories to help me continue to tell mine.