Anxiety is…

I always see those “Anxiety is…” posts. You know what I’m talking about. “Anxiety is losing sleep because of panic. Anxiety is feeling like you aren’t enough”…etc.

And they are usually 200% accurate. Anxiety is paralyzing. Bad mental health in general can wreck your life in the blink of an eye. It leaves you feeling weak and defenseless. But I want to let y’all in on what else anxiety has been for me.

Anxiety is…a lot of realization. That is, if you’re willing to see.

For me (I know everyone is different), anxiety is…

  • seeing patterns and generational curses that I have allowed to take up space in my life
  • finding the growth in the small moments; pushing through the discomfort or saying no when necessary
  • forcing myself to be vulnerable and transparent because it causes the shame of it all to disappear
  • inviting others to lift me up when I can’t
  • not allowing myself to use anxiety as an excuse to mistreat those around me

In its own crazy way, anxiety is growth. Granted, it grinds you to dust in the beginning. You have no idea what is going on. You just know you can’t control it and nothing could have prepared you for it. But through the muck, the sun shines brighter.

Anxiety solidifies the right friendships and strains out the rest. It taught me to show myself grace and talk with love. Anxiety gave me a thorn in my side to rely on God in ways I never have.

Would I get rid of anxiety if I could? OH YES. And I’m working on that. Because anxiety is not a thing. It’s a symptom. A symptom to something physical or mental. And when I stopped accepting it as my normal – it loosened its grip a bit.

I know anxiety is hell. But if we have to live it for awhile we might as well find the buried treasure. Healing is found there. When we pick up the shovel and dig while shaking. And when we allow others around us to pick up their shovels and dig with us. We do not deserve this reality. We are worthy enough to be free. Accept that reality as much as you do the current status of your mental health and you’ll see the cage start to twist open.

With grace,

From Her Fortress

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