I’ve lived with a mental disease in my mind for years. When I was a little girl, I didn’t know that she was deep in my mind, sealed away and unknown. But, I grew up. And as I grew up, she started slowly coming into my view. Seeping into my thoughts, into my everyday thinking. I grew scared of her, not knowing what she was making me become. I tried to control her, but she was too strong. She took over my whole mind, I couldn’t even control myself anymore. I couldn’t be myself. She took over everything about me and I was a whole new person. A scared, paranoid little girl. I was so weak, letting everything about her consume everything about me. She was the one who controlled my body, not me. I was a nobody anymore, all you saw was her.
Her name was Anxiety and she nearly killed me. She knew every single weakness about me and I knew none about her. I never wanted her here with me. She took over all control without permission. I didn’t know what she wanted, she never said. I just wanted her to leave but how could I ask her when I knew I couldn’t live without her? I hated every single fiber of her being but I couldn’t let her go. She was the biggest part of me and I didn’t know if I was ready to live without her. All I’ve learned to know is to live with her, constantly being by my side. Was I even able to leave her?
I tried to leave. We were apart for awhile, a couple months actually. My parents started making me take little white pills to help with her. Everything was going great. I didn’t see her, I didn’t think about her, I didn’t speak about her. And even though she wasn’t mentioned, I could still feel her there in the back of my mind, watching everything I was doing. She was lurking in the background, waiting to see what I was going to do next. And then one day, she just came back.
She hit me like a wrecking ball. My whole world was turned back upside down, like she was giving me all the wrath that I missed of hers while she was gone. The little white pills weren’t working anymore and I didn’t know what to do. She was starting to control my life again and I didn’t want her to. She was impossible to escape. Four different kinds of pills later and I was still begging God that she would go away. My thoughts were hers again and my life wasn’t my own anymore. I couldn’t escape what world she had made her own. She was my own personal leech, feeding off my demise.
I went through months of this, having her always there. My life went slowly in a dwindling spiral, not knowing what I was doing with my life anymore. She took over everything. I didn’t have a control over my life anymore and everyday I just wanted to explode. I was done with having her in my life. She was an uninvited stranger living in my own body, completely taking over every ounce of my being.
And then something changed in my life. Slowly but surely, she started going away. No not completely, but she did change. She stopped being so aggressive, her angry demeanor not as powerful as it was. It was like she was slowly fading out of my body, mind, and soul. She was still there, in the back of my mind, reminding me that she was still there. I wish that she was completely gone, but with months having her almost killing me, this was enough for me. And how I did it? A wonderful thing and a slightly horrible thing: friends and therapy.
My friends were there for me even when they didn’t know what was going on. I talked to them constantly, never once being judged or controlled like how she used to treat me. I could always count on them, knowing that no matter what time of day it was, I could call and they would be there. They were always there, kind of like her. But instead of being there trying to take me over, they were getting me in control instead. They made me remember that it was my body, not hers. My amount of bravery and self esteem peaked to its highest point that it has ever been at before. I was actually myself for once in my life.
And then there was therapy. No it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it wasn’t the best. The thing that I didn’t like about it was that it was therapy. When people think therapy, they think mental problems and difficulties. I just hated the stereotype. I kept it hidden from a lot of people for the longest time. I wasn’t comfortable with people knowing that I had a problem and had to go seek professional help. It saddened me knowing I couldn’t tell people the real reason why I couldn’t hang out with them or text them. I had to lie and it killed me. But then I finally realized, who the hell cares? Just because I go to therapy, doesn’t mean I’m depressed or have too many problems that it makes me go get help. I went to help myself become a stronger, more in control person. I was proud of my stereotype and I didn’t care who knew it.
And then there was the actual therapy part. To be completely honest, I loved therapy. My therapist would let me talk for our whole session without him saying a word or would give me questions that really made me think about my life. I would really think about my whole life with Anxiety and reevaluate every moment with her that I had. He made me feel better about myself after every session and it would just make me a happier person, knowing that I can actually live with her. I even looked forward to the session throughout the whole day. Who knew that something people judged so much was actually something really nice?
She still lives with me to this day. Always there, in the background. At times, she gets back in control. But I learned how to deal with her to where she goes back away, even if its just for a moment or two. I still hang out with the same friends and I still go to therapy every Thursday. And with everything I’ve been through while I’ve been living with her, I have learned so much about her and myself. Even though I hated everything about her, I’m glad I live with her.
Anxiety taught me that I can overcome her and actually live in my own body. She taught me that even though I can be at my lowest point where she almost killed me, I can be stronger than her. That I can be in charge of myself for once in my life. And even though I know that I still haven’t overcome all of her, I’m happy about it because it’s better than what I used to be. I know that she can possibly come back one day, but I will overcome her again. Anxiety taught me that I can always be stronger than her. No matter what happens in my life, she will not take over my life again.
I know that Anxiety will always be with me and for now, I welcome her to be with me. I will conquer her one day, and until that day happens, I will be here, being the stronger person. Anxiety really changed my life for the good and the bad, but I am glad that she is here. I hope other people learn how to control her too and know that they can be strong like me. And I know that I’m not the strongest person in the world, but for what I’ve been through? It’s good enough for me.