REAL TALK | My Struggles with Anxiety
This post is not going to be riddled with pictures and such -- wait what?! Yes, I know. This is a photographer's blog and shouldn't she have pictures and lots of them? Well, not always. One thing I want to make sure I am when it comes to being true to not only my business but my brand is that I am a relatively open book -- I wear my heart on my sleeve and I always have. So, raw and real, I want to take these Real Talk posts and use them to open the door a little wider for my readers to come in and learn a little about me - the girl behind the camera.
One thing I have struggled with for most of my life that I only had diagnosed in the last five years or so is anxiety. And by diagnosed, I don't mean with my WebMD degree (which, ask my husband, I'm not even allowed on the Web site because of mental damage I've done to myself in the past - ha!). I mean I recognized there were issues, made a conscious effort to visit a doctor and was prescribed medication that I take daily. It's not something I brag about or roam the streets calling out for all to hear, but it's a part of my life and who I am.
I can remember bits and pieces of my life to this point that have caused me some level of anxiety - from social interactions to body images to boyfriends to breakups to jobs to kids and beyond. It's something that I truly believe a lot of people struggle with and are simply ashamed to acknowledge they need help and seek it out. I get it - it's not fun to admit that you have an issue that needs addressed. You have pride, you want to be strong and take care of it yourself. You hate medicating yourself, you feel like it's not natural. You look to Pinterest and the Interwebs in order to find natural cures, like exercise and eating healthy, which are valid options -- but the issues aren't always that easy to rid. You can spend all kinds of time distracting yourself and convincing yourself that it's just "this situation" and it will pass. Trust me, I know from experience, it was just "this situation" one too many times, when suddenly I found myself waking in the night with my heart racing for no reason, I was so panicked I couldn't calm down. I would sit up in bed in order to try to contain myself. Heavy breathing would ensue followed up even more panic to the point where I had to just get up and walk around. After this happened for several weeks at a time, I knew something was wrong. Well, I had known for a long time, but... you know where I'm going with that.
It's not easy, or fun, to admit you have a problem. You begin to feel like a failure. You think your friends and family will judge you.
Guess what? They won't. And you're so far from a failure. I can tell you with confidence that if it wasn't for me finally taking a stand to take care of myself that I would not be the person I am right now. This is not to say that medication is the end all be all, either. I have to make conscious decisions every day to try and be positive and find the good in things. I pray every day, or I try to (I have struggles with that... just being honest). It's completely a day by day process, but I can take heed in knowing I AM a work in progress, and that is OK. I will never be perfect, and that is OK.
Friend, take time to take care of yourself. It's important not only for you and your personal well-being, but also for your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends.
Not sure how to take that step? Seriously, reach out to me. I will be more than happy to guide you in the same steps I took to get to where I am now. I am so, so glad I did. And if I can save someone else... what a blessing.