It's so easy and fun to post pretty pictures, right? Ones that showcase fabulous outfits and super cute accessories. And if you don't quite feel like a million bucks, almost any picture can be contorted into perfection with filters and editing tools.
So the last thing I'm psyched to put out there is a picture where I'm crying and covered in runaway mascara, but that's what anxiety looks like. It's far from pretty and perfect.
I rang in 2015 with the worst anxiety attacks I've had in a very long time. I was sick with a cold and spent one day home from work... and I started FEELING things. Deep sorrow. Confusing terror. Completely out of control. I, who am always cold, needed ice packs because I was constantly overheated. I hyperventilated so intensely that I threw up. I teetered on the edge of tears for those three days. It was fucking awful. Anxiety is such an insidious bastard. It sneaks up on you and upends your otherwise orderly life.
My anxiety level is still higher than normal, but its waves are smaller, not tsunami-grade. Thankfully, my dad, my bf, and one of my good friends were all super patient and understanding, and helped to calm me down when my anxiety was at its worst. And I was able to be open with them (and with you, dear reader) about how awful I was feeling--something I never used to be able to do.
Perhaps, best of all, suicide never crossed my mind as an option. I now see my old gravitation toward suicidal thoughts as a kind of drug--something dark and desperate and unhealthy that I could sink into, to feel in control and to numb out pain. But even in such a panic last week, I didn't reach out for that old vice, and for that, I am very thankful.