freedom in honesty

Anxiety: An unpleasant state of inner turmoil

That is a very simple definition for a not-so-simple thing.

Anxiety is something that all humans deal with in some way, on some level, at some point in their lives. It’s an overwhelming sensation of fear and nervousness about the future. It comes in all shapes and sizes and can show up for a variety of reasons. Whatever the case, it’s not pleasant.

90294db46efbcc7ae28f238e96142e38Anxiety is something that I deal with. I’ve never opened up about it because, well, that gives me anxiety. Ironic, eh? In my case, it manifests itself as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety. It’s a lot better than it used to be but going out still makes me slightly uncomfortable and I can be very obsessive about certain things in my life. To be completely honest, it sucks.

Anxiety is something that I’ve always been ashamed of. I’ve tried my best to hide it (which is nearly impossible) and tried to convince myself that it’s all in my head. But it isn’t. It’s a real thing and a good percentage of us deal with it on a regular basis. So, guess what? We’re not alone.

IMG_0036Anxiety is something that we can overcome. Being self-aware and opening up about the things that we struggle with is the first step. Then challenging ourselves to do those things will [slowly but surely] make them easier. The more you face it, the more you’ll be able to move past it.

Anxiety is something that should never have control. We have control. We all deserve to be happy. We deserve to be free of whatever is holding us back. We deserve to smile, laugh, and have a life filled with joy. So, let’s take the reigns and stop letting anyone or anything stand in our way.

Here’s to facing the hard parts of life…

-Emily

23 comments
  1. You are my soul sister, Em. I swear. Although I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog, I’ve never gone into a deep explanation or discussion on my diagnoses of anxiety and OCD. I so relate to everything you said here. Of course everyone experiences anxiety to a certain degree, but it’s so different to actually be DIAGNOSED with the disorder and have to be treated for it. It’s so comforting to know other people can relate to the things I go through on a daily basis and know what it feels like to be completely crippled by thoughts. You’re amazing for opening up about this. Honesty and transparency is exactly what is needed to get through mental illnesses like anxiety and OCD. The more open we are the easier it is for people to understand what’s going on and be more accepting and tolerant of the things that make us different. You rock girl!

    • Emily said:

      Thank you, Kaila. Everything you said in this comment totally hit-home with me too. Anxiety is such a weird, confusing thing and it’s impossible to explain when someone has never experienced it. But the responses to this post only prove how common it is and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
      If you ever need to talk/vent, I’m always here! xoxo

  2. Taylor said:

    Opening up about about your personal experiences with anxiety is incredible brave and know just by doing this you are taking a huge step! While I personally haven’t experienced anxiety, I know of those who do and by sharing this information lets those who care for you better understand what’s going on. Know that this is something you shouldn’t be ashamed of and while I’m sure you have a wonderful support system, if you need someone to talk to, feel free to reach out! ❤

    • Emily said:

      Thank you, Taylor. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

  3. P said:

    Oh man, I can relate 100%. Anxiety/OCD is something that has been in my life for such a long time. The fact that it is so common in individuals, yet hidden in society, is so unfortunate. It’s really important to know what our triggers are, and to face them one step at a time. Some days are easier to tackle that others, but I believe having a strong support network of people telling us it will be OKAY makes a huge difference!

    • Emily said:

      It’s SO unfortunate- you’re right. I don’t really understand why it’s hidden like it is, especially because it’s so common.
      I’ve found that taking it one day at a time is the best option. Like you said, some days are easier than others, but worrying about tomorrow doesn’t accomplish anything. ❤

  4. Ashley said:

    Girl, I’m so proud of you for opening up about this! I struggle with obsessive thinking and social anxiety and it sucks how it feels so isolating. But by being more honest about it only helps everyone that struggles, and just having the reminder that we CAN overcome it is so powerful! ❤

    • Emily said:

      Thank you so much, Ashley!
      It’s true- being honest and open makes everything a lot easier to deal with. Plus, the reminder that we’re not alone is a huge comfort. xoxo

  5. I too have always tried to hide my anxiety. I have always been ashamed and felt like it made me appear weak, or less of a person. Also, I feared that people would pity me and that’s something I could never handle. Thank you for opening up and sharing. Reading this was so incredibly helpful. You’re an amazing inspiration, Emily.

    • Emily said:

      That’s exactly how I’ve always felt. I hate asking for help or admitting that I struggle…how ridiculous is that? We’re all human and we all have things that we deal with- there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
      I’m so happy that this post was a comfort for you. If you ever want to talk, I’m only an email away. (:

  6. Needed this post. Yesterday I tried on bridesmaid dresses and I was not loving the way I look. I was having an anxiety attack over a dress I’ll be wearing in may. I mean, I have a few months before then, and I’ve been working out and I’ve lost some weight, so why fret. Plus everyone’s eyes will be on the bride. Plus if I only focus on that, I won’t have fun along the way. Slowly, I’m trying to adapt that positive mind set and not care about what people think. thanks for this post madam!

    • Emily said:

      I’m really happy that this post came when you needed it. That’s why I have my blog, honestly. If each post can resonate with [at least] one person then it’s worth it.
      Keep focusing on the positive things and enjoying life- the rest will take care of itself! (:

  7. Thank you for opening up! I have anxiety and OCD also, and it’s always nice to hear from people who can relate. You’re not alone!

    • Emily said:

      You’re so welcome. Thank YOU for all of your support.

  8. You already know how we have this in common<3 Within the past year my anxiety has gotten a lot worse, but looking back on my life when I was little, I had it then too, I just didn't know what it was. It's something that runs in my family and I hate that my children will probably have it to. The good thing is that we CAN learn to control it. I hate that something as stupid as this can control us. It frightening what our minds can trick us into believing.

    • Emily said:

      Isn’t that so weird? When I look back on my childhood, I can see that anxiety was always there too. I was just naive to what it was, exactly. But like you said, we CAN learn to control it…and we deserve to!
      Feel free to email me if you ever need to talk or vent. xoxo

    • Emily said:

      Aw, thank you so much. I hope you know how much your comments mean to me!

  9. thank you for this post 🙂 my anxiety has gotten more intense this past year, and after an emotionally draining weekend this post hit me deeply. it’s always powerful to remember that you’re not in this alone.

    • Emily said:

      I’m so, so happy to hear that. Remembering that we’re not alone is the most comforting thing in the world, isn’t it?
      Keep smiling, lady. Everything will work out in the end. ❤

  10. What an amazing quote.
    I don’t suffer much from anxiety, as I’m quite a laid back person, but when I do it feels so foreign I don’t know what to do with it.
    You shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed – we’re all human, and you’re amazing the way you are.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

    • Emily said:

      Thank you so much- I really appreciate that. (:
      I’m happy to hear that you don’t suffer from anxiety on a regular basis. It’s not fun. But, when it does pop up, taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that everything will be okay is the best thing you can do!

  11. Ugh, I’m so anxious all of the time. I’m getting better by exercising and eating well, drawing strength from relationships and doing what I enjoy as much as possible. I’m sure some state of anxiety is inevitable, being that it serves a very good evolutionary purpose, but of course I want to avoid it as much as possible! The nice thing is that just reading about someone having the same struggles makes it easier to deal with, you know? Thank you for talking about this … I look forward to seeing what else your blog has to offer. 🙂

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