You are not crazy. And you are not alone.
Maybe this is a thing you’re well acquainted with; maybe this is brand new and secret and scary. No matter, you’re in this thing now. There are lots of “open letters” out there to the world, written out of frustration and bitterness, telling them how to understand and help people with anxiety. There are lots of medical articles, too cold and oversimplified and maybe making you feel worse instead of better.
This is neither of those.
I hate the idea of an “open letter” it has the nastiest connotation doesn’t it? It reminds me of bitterness and politics and people overstepping their humanity with social media. So this is just a letter. A letter from a friend who knows how it feels when the world is big and the waves keep you down and you can barely catch a breath before the next one crests.
It’s scary now, but you will have normalcy again, too. You’ll laugh again. You’ll leave the bed and take a shower and feel strong again. Maybe not today. And that’s ok. Everyone might not understand, but plenty of us do. You aren’t a less respectable adult, you aren’t a lost cause. And you are not sentenced to a life of drowning in the waters of anxiety. Take a deep breath, a really deep one. Because THERE IS HOPE.
When anxiety is big, it’s easy to obsess on two things. 1. Why? Why is this happening? 2. Make it stop, please just make this go away. Try to put those two thoughts on the back burner, just for now. If you can, I think maybe I can offer a little help. I can’t take the place of a doctor or a counselor or therapist. But I can be your friend, and I can tell you what helped me.
Accept that this is happening. Say out loud, “I’m having a hard time and I think I need a little help.” The more you will against yourself, the harder you are making it to move forward. Whether you are having full on panic attacks or “just” plagued with worry as you go through your day, admit it to yourself.
Then comes the hardest part, if you can do this you can do anything:
Admit it to someone else.
Find one person in your life who knows you and loves you and is worthy of your trust. Then say the exact same thing to them that you said to yourself. “I’m having a hard time and I think I need a little help.” This won’t instantly fix it, but hopefully it will release a little of that pinned up pressure. And now you can’t ignore it anymore. It’s out there in the world, in a safe place, but it’s there. This secret pain isn’t trapped inside you anymore. You can move forward now.
You can be broken AND brave. You are.
You can read a book, do a bible study, join a support group. You can get a doctor, see a counselor, start a treatment plan. See that hope from God has hands and feet here, now, on the earth around you.
Start there. Take this little big step for yourself. And I'll be here. I'll keep sharing what I can. Don't worry about all that now. Just take a deep breath and start.