I have an anxiety disorder.
That honestly felt like I was at an alcoholics anonymous meeting because I hate to admit to that fact. But the first step is acceptance right? or its at least one of them?
My discovery of this fact was hardly a surprise. I always expected my brain didn’t work the way it should but it took me twenty long years to be ‘officially’ not right.
The reason it took me so long to accept my anxiety disorder, and why I never went to get help is because I can be very high functioning. In fact I have been for a hell of a long time, like a swan gracefully gliding across the lake but underneath paddling like a crazy motherfucker to keep afloat. Its a pretty good talent but it takes a hell of a lot of work.
People don’t acknowledge the high functioning mentally ill people as much as they should. And they should, because I always assumed I was okay, because all the definitions of mentally ill didn’t fit me. I got up and dressed every day and did my exams and make friends and went to parties and got a job and basically functioned like everyone else. So I was fine (or so I kept telling myself). And I avoided getting any help because I didn’t see myself as ill enough.
Being high functioning is a curse and a blessing. It meant it took me longer to get help but it also meant that I didn’t fall into a mental trap of being unable to get out of bed or totally withdraw from life. I get sad and panicked but even on the worst days I can drag myself up and try to do things.
Basically, mental health is personal. We all experience it differently and no one should ever make you feel like your experience is not valid. And if you’re high functioning like me, WELCOME TO THE CLUB – well done for getting up when you feel like shit. but remember you can stay in bed if you want, you can just stop and breathe for a moment, you can admit to not always being as strong as you try to present.