I know it must seem like I share my struggles with Depression and Anxiety constantly. I share it here on “Prone to Hope.” Sometimes I write short snippets about it on my Facebook feed. I talk about it regularly as well.
One thing I want to make clear is that while I regularly contend with Anxiety (and sometimes Depression), that doesn’t mean I’m always suffering. Often I contend with It, and I win.
But I write about It so much for the four reasons I give on my “about prone to hope” page as well as one other reason:
- Writing about my Anxiety and Depression is therapeutic to me. And, writing about my Anxiety while I am experiencing it is turbo therapeutic at helping me get through the panic.
- One of the worst feelings when you are experiencing Anxiety and / or Depression is that you feel so alone, so isolated. You even convince yourself that no one understands or even wants to know what you are going through. I share my experience because I’ve been told that my sharing has helped others not feel so alone and isolated.
- I want to fight the stigma attached to mental illnesses. Some people still have backward thoughts about people who suffer from mood disorders. Some think of us as weak; but it takes incredible strength to live with a mental illness. Some think of us as people who can’t contribute to the rest of society. There may be times when it’s hard to contribute; but it doesn’t mean we don’t try and often succeed despite the odds against us.
- I want people who don’t suffer from Anxiety and Depression to know at least one perspective about what it’s like. Also, I’ve been told that my writing has helped others who have friends, family, and / or colleagues who suffer from Anxiety and / or Depression understand what is still an issue closeted in some segments of society.
The other reason I write so much about my struggles is that I want to show that dealing with my mental health is a normal part of my life. Just as we must take care of ourselves in other ways, we must also tend to our mental health. It’s a healthy thing to do. It’s a normal thing to do.
But I will admit, in writing about my struggles as much as I do, I sometimes fear that I reveal too much and too often. There’s a vulnerability in exposing your mental health struggles.
Today, I felt like I went a little overboard in my sharing. So, I’m feeling especially vulnerable — a little raw — right now.