What if, instead of keeping all of our fears and anxieties locked up inside, we spoke the words. Perhaps in a journal, with a loved one, a professional if you need help – maybe even the internet.
This is a huge lesson I’ve learned in my life. Growing up, after my father passed away, I kept heaps of self-pity, of sadness – then anxiety, panic and depression – inside my own mind for years. It was a torment. Then one day, when I couldn’t stand the fear anymore, I told my mother. And that was truly the beginning of my recovery.
It takes the power away from the fear. Fear is most potent and toxic when you deal with it one-on-one, with everyone you love being none the wiser. But if you speak the words – oh, how that burden in your heart lifts and lightens.
Now here, I’m specifically thinking about my battles with panic attacks. Mental health has become so much less taboo about over the years, thank the lord, so I have no issue telling people: I am sometimes plagued with panic attacks and anxiety. Here is what I experience, and here is what you might see. If someone has a problem with it, with this outpour of both strength and vulnerability, they are not worth spending time with.
Maybe it’s a chronic disease. Or social anxiety. A traumatic event in your past that perhaps can’t be overcome alone. Or perhaps there are smaller, more situational fears. Here are two of mine I’m dealing with right now:
Sharing the fear is only the first step. But I know releasing the words, engaging in friendship and seeking counsel rarely leads to bad things.
✨I’ll leave you with a pop culture reference I couldn’t get out of my head as I was meditating on this: When witches and wizards refused to speak Voldemort’s name in the Harry Potter series, they were inadvertently giving him power. They perpetuated the idea that he should be feared, for it was much easier to never speak of him and put the truth of the matter out of their minds. Our magical heroes knew better.
Face your battles head-on with comrades and an abundance of resources at your side. To amplify your struggles or perceived weakness takes so much bravery – but that, along with incredible resilience in the face of such darkness – should be celebrated! 🎉