Why does no one talk about how anxiety is so much more than just panic attacks and breakdowns without cause?
Anxiety is also your ruined gut health that makes you shit six times a day. Anxiety is also your hair follicles hurting and your scalp paining because of the stress. Anxiety is being continuously irritated and snappy regardless of how you’re actually feeling. Anxiety is blurting out hurtful things because you want to be confrontational but also not feeling like talking because you don’t want to be confrontational. Anxiety is wanting to be isolated and yet wanting companionship SO DAMN BAD.
Anxiety is feeling left out even when you’re the center of attention. Anxiety is liking things a certain way and also hating routine. Anxiety and Depression together can cause so much more. Anxiety and Depression together will make you lethargic and unmotivated. It’ll make your body ache in weird places even when you haven’t moved a muscle all day. Functioning with Anxiety and Depression is going to want you to get better, but it won’t show you how to.
Seeking therapy is never easy. It’s going to be hard. It’s even going to take a toll on your mental health, to find a therapist that suits your needs. Some may ask you to make charts and understand your thoughts without actually listening to you. Some may listen to you.
Leap. It may hurt now. It may hurt every day, and yes, therapy can be expensive, but you can try to find affordable therapists. Getting better isn’t always about understanding that you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s about understanding that it’s perfectly fine to be alone.
Anxiety and Depression and every other mental health issue are completely valid and not taboo. Shitty parents and shittier friends can and will try their best to make you believe that “this too shall pass” and that “it’s only a bad day, not a bad life.” Well, fuck them. Choose you. Over and over and over again. Choose fucking you. Be selfish. Selflessness is overrated anyway. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself first.
The only good thing that school taught me was this:
Doosron ki jai se pehle, khudko jai karein. Humko mann ki shakti dena
Preachy. Perhaps. Yes. Maybe it was intended to be religious. But those words mean so much to me. They ask you to choose yourself over and over and over again. Never shy away from choosing you because that’s the only way you can help others. That’s where real strength lies.
Life isn’t a fucking battle. Life isn’t war. So stop fighting yourself. If you’re physically hurt, you show yourself to a physician, right? So when you’re mentally hurt, why are you shying away from seeking care? We need affordable mental health care, yes, but first, fuck the taboo.
It’s not an easy road ahead; it never will be. Honestly. Acceptance is not the answer. That’s like accepting defeat. Gratitude is the answer. It places you in your present. It grounds you. Gratitude doesn’t stem from looking below you and blessing your stars for having it better.
Gratitude stems from you and YOU alone. It stems from being thankful for your present. Your life. Your health. Your house. Your art. Your brains. Your happiness. Your parents. Yourself. Gratitude grounds you. It teaches you so much more than humility. It teaches you about you.
So whatever it is that is killing you today, making you feel like this is the end of the world for you. Think about what makes you feel that way. Think about every time in the past when you thought the same.
Think about how you got over it. Did you cry? Did you sleep it off? Do it.
I’m not a mental health professional. I’m just another person out of millions of us who struggles with Anxiety and Depression on a daily basis. But I’m trying to practice my gratitude; I’m trying to see my therapist. I’m trying to get better. Because I want to. This isn’t the end.
There’s so much more for me to see, watch, eat, cook, and learn about. There’s so much more for you too. There are millions of people who aren’t going to give you anxiety. There are millions of experiences that’ll be nothing but pleasant for you. There are millions of kisses waiting.
Life isn’t always pretty
Life honestly won’t ever always be pretty. But it isn’t always going to be this hard too, alright? Because it hasn’t always been like this in the past. Time changes. Just like tides. There’s not always going to be the same one coming your way.
You’ve got to learn from your mistakes. You’ve got to try to do better. You’ve just got to fucking try, alright? Never go down without a fight. Never ever back down. Life’s throwing a fucking punch in your face? Duck and throw a kick up its groin.
And some days, you might not have the strength to do so. You might not have the courage or the motivation to get up, let alone fight. Do you know what to do that day? You’ve got two options. Either you stay down and have a good cry, complain to ma about life being a bully or fight it.
And maybe you won’t do either of those things. Perhaps you’ll do things that I possibly can’t think of doing. You see, you and I are very different, but we’re also intrinsically human. Cliché but the blood that runs through your veins also runs through mine (a slight DNA variation). All I’m saying is, don’t belittle your experience just because someone has it worse or better. They just have it different. It’s not a scale of comparison. Hurt isn’t a unit of measurement. That’s HERTZ.
But what matters is YOU. SO CHOOSE YOU. OVER AND OVER AND OVER. you’re you. And YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Trust me, you’ll grow from it. Not from your experiences that cause you to feel this way. Not from shitty friends in the same echo chamber. But from the person you’re becoming every single day. You’re growing every second. Literally aging and growing by the passing minute.
You’re you, yes. With all your experiences, bad and good. Nasty and ugly. Deliciously beautiful. Decadently gorgeous. And I’m me, with all of that with some snips and additions but we’re stuck here together, genius. On this tiny thing ass blue dot in the universe so let us try.
Practice gratitude and love yourself
Let us try to do good, be good, and forgive ourselves FIRST if we don’t. Let’s try to fucking not put ourselves or anyone on a pedestal but know that we’re only fucking human, and that makes us prone to flaws and mistakes and grave misjudgments, and the only thing to do IS BETTER.
And it’s not going to be fucking easy. It’s never going to be a cakewalk. Being human can be hard, and it is going to be that way, but you know what is relatively easy? Not being so hard on your fucking self. Choose you. Love you. And DO BETTER every single day. Practice GRATITUDE.
Don’t give up. Don’t shy away from seeking help. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’ll get where you want to be. Just be. That’s enough for now.
Sometimes (most of the time), that’s enough. You’re you, and that’s enough. So talk or don’t talk. Draw. Can’t draw? So what? Paint. Can’t hold a brush? So what? Sing? Don’t think you’re great? Who cares? Dance? Two left feet? I’ll join you! Write? Can’t make sense of words? They’re your words, who cares about others? Love yourself a 100
People who have weak eyesight have to wear spectacles or contact lenses for the rest of their lives.
And it’s not frowned upon just because they have to do it for the rest of their lives. So why when I say that I might have to seek therapy forever or keep taking my medicines?
And speaking entirely out of my personal experience, thoughts have immense power. They can drive you to do anything. So when you joke about not wanting to live, your brain truly absorbs those sentiments. When you speak about your well being, your brain absorbs that too. Words have power. Thoughts are stronger than you think. As horribly cringy this may sound, think better things. You’ll automatically want to DO better things too. Existentialism was left best to Sartre, Camus, and Nietzsche. You don’t have to do it. Trust me. Think better, do good.
Call yourself pretty (:ex), calling yourself ugly just makes the world’s role easier. The world is a mean place to live, and there will always be people who will drag you the fuck down. Why are you making their job easier? Make it fucking hard. Make it impossible for people.
The circle of life begins with being kind towards yourself, and then others, and so on and so forth. Whatever goes around, comes the fuck around. So all this hate and negativity going around, it began somewhere. It’s like a poorly played game of Chinese whispers. Just cut the cycle.
Step out of it. Choose your own motherfing trajectory. Throw yourself into better things, good things, throw yourself into yourself. Launch headfirst into your growth and well being. It will fall into place.
And do everything ONLY FOR YOU. Live for you. Breathe for you. Love for you. You you you. Choose youuuuuu. You matter to you. You love you. You’re you and you’re fucking brilliant. You’re stunning, talented, kind, precious, and just fucking ENOUGH. Okay? And that’s enough.
Audita Bhattacharya is a self-confessed connoisseur of words. Her passion for writing comes from the constant urge to put magic into everyday observations.
Featured Image Credits: Sri Harsha Dantuluri