When I was in college, I wrote an award winning <don’t fact check that> article called “Ask Anita” for our Housing Village newspaper. The premise was that residents could ask me, or more accurately, my pseudonym, Anita Mann, for advice. The one and only reason for a pen name, was because I just simply get a big kick out of myself.
Anyway, due to popular demand, and the hugely overwhelming amount of questions and suggestions I have received regarding my admission to struggling with anxiety, Anita is back to answer any and all Anxiety and Panic related questions to the best of her ability. Starting with this gem, which, I have paraphrased in part:
You’re obviously a goddess, and should actually be gilded.
Thank you for sharing that you struggle with anxiety. Why are you sharing this now?
Dear Big A,
Thank you so much! I agree.
Well, to be honest, there I was at Planet Fitness, and I had all these exercise endorphins, and was just sort of feeling a little emotional about my “journey”. I’m not going to lie to you, A, I had one heck of a vulnerability hangover after that post. Facebook is for kitten videos and stalking exes…not support for mental hygiene.
Well, anyway, the thing is…holding a secret in about yourself is just simply poisonous, and it was just time to “come out of the anxiety closet”.
40 million adults are affected with diagnosed anxiety disorders in the US.
40 freaking million. That’s not even counting chumps like me that didn’t know it was even a thing.
Let me also set the record straight…if I hear the phrase “mental illness” one more time, I might actually go blind. There are many, MANY, mental illnesses that should be taken seriously, and can be treated very effectively. Anxiety can certainly become one of them, just like any other affliction. However, when 30% of a population is affected by anxiety, shouldn’t it be called “the normal”?
My soapbox campaign here is that when we treat something like anxiety as a weakness and tell someone they “need help” in a condescending tone…or worse, telling someone to “just relax”… we’re pushing people further and further away from resources to help them live…really live…a full and beautiful life. Pain and all.
Long story short, let’s talk about this. It’s normal, and can be funny if we let it.
And now, for a more eloquent discussion on how you can come out of your own anxiety closet, here’s a non-belligerent blog post from my Anxiety Coach, Kelli Walker of panicandanxietycoach.com fame.
All of the Xs and the Os,