Anxiety has always been my biggest enemy. It comes out of nowhere and it’s truly debilitating. The scary thing about it is that I don’t always know when it’s going to hit me. That lack of control and fear of rejection by the people I love can build up to an overwhelming point where tears are streaming down my face and my only answer to someone’s “why are you crying!?” is that I’m easily overwhelmed.
And it’s true. It’s the only way I can describe it. I’m easily overwhelmed by my own emotions.
I’ve gone my entire life wishing that I could get a handle on this. Crying in front of anyone about something that I know isn’t worth crying over is straight up embarrassing. But the thing about anxiety is that it’s all-consuming, and sometimes you truly need to just wait out the storm.
That’s been the key for me: waiting out the storm. And being okay with it.
Sometimes it takes days for me to reset after an overwhelming experience. I used to hate that. Why can’t I be the person who is un-phased by life’s mayhem? Instead I’m that baby who has to lock herself away for days in order to make sense of everything in her head. That’s what I used to tell myself. I used to hate that about myself. I used to be so ashamed of this.
The truth is that we all feel and we all struggle, some people are just better at ignoring it or brushing it to the side. Facing your emotions head-on is scary and sometimes devastating. But we don’t do it enough. Sitting with your emotions, without dwelling or beating yourself down, is important and necessary for us to grow. In order to understand others, we need to understand ourselves.
We need to remember that we are all human. That we are not defined by our emotions. Feelings and situations pass, we are never in the same place forever. Accepting that we feel uncomfortable and revisiting tough situations is important. I used to cry over not being able to hide how I feel. I used to think I was so weak for this.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to be very appreciative of my emotions and ability to feel so deeply. I’m thankful that I never ‘got a handle on it’. I’ve developed a level of empathy and strength to support others in my life and that’s truly something that fulfills me. I’ve learned that in order to show up for others, I need to show up for myself and give myself time to work through things.
Emotions are scary but we are all so much better when we find the strength to work through them. I encourage you to recognize and welcome that discomfort you’ve been burying down. Explore it and accept it. It will pass and you will grow knowing why it was there.