You know that feeling when you are standing at the edge of a swimming pool. You know the water is cold, you know its going to sting a little when it first touches your skin, but you also know there is fun to be had inside that water. You tell yourself over and over again, “just jump, just jump,” because if you just get your feet into the air, there is no turning back. Those few inches of air between your feet and the concrete is enough to get you past the point of no return. But you can’t jump, can you? Or, at least, it takes a lot of convincing before you actually jump, right? Now imagine living with that feeling every single day. That is called anxiety.
I live with anxiety. I have been able to make a direct link between our finances and my anxiety level. I’ve mentioned it in a previous post. The anxiety isn’t related to a lack of funding, just our finances in general. That “jumping into the pool” feeling is something I get every time I open my wallet, every time I walk into the bank, every time I have to check the mail.
Without going into too much detail about our finances, trust me when I say we have plenty of money to pay our bills, feed our family, and enjoy a few luxuries, so like I said, a lack of funding isn’t the issue. Instead my anxiety, like all sufferers of anxiety, is linked to an irrational fear. I am afraid we will have a bill for 100,000 dollars waiting for us in the mailbox, or all of our money will magically disappear from our bank account, or I fear that I am not making a wise decision with our money and I will regret it later. All highly unlikely, all on my mind at all times, every single day.
I’m sharing all of this with you for one important reason. If someone you know struggles honestly with depression or anxiety, it isn’t that they are sad and stressed out, it is so much more than that. When your inbox is full, your sink is full, and your kids are throwing a tantrum because they want a snack, sure that can give anyone a bout of anxiety, but that isn’t living with anxiety. Living with anxiety is debilitating. Living with anxiety prevents you from doing normal everyday things. Living with anxiety stops me from being able to regularly check my mail. How silly is that? Days turn into weeks and weeks to into a month and I haven’t checked my mail. Then I start to gag when I see my mail box because I am afraid of what might (but not at all likely) be inside. That is anxiety.
If you live with anxiety, you are not alone. Don’t let others make you feel like it isn’t real or it isn’t as serious as you feel. I am telling you right now, I know it is real, I know it can control your body and the way you function and there is little you can do to stop it. I doesn’t have to be about money, it can be about driving, or the safety of your children, or stranger danger. Whatever it is, I am sorry you are dealing with that, you are not alone in the fight.
To everyone who lives with anxiety or loves someone who lives with anxiety remember this, if you can just get past the point of no return there is fun to be had on the other side. Jump. Get your feet those few inches into the air and don’t look back. It is scary and it may never get easier to make that leap, but you will never regret fighting back.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.