Anxiety can make you your worst version of yourself, and leave you feeling utterly defeated and not understood. It is easy to look at the many negative things that are associated with anxiety, and allow yourself to be frustrated and angry that you are restricted by something that you can’t control. Living with anxiety is hard. Heck, it is hard living with anxiety even though I have figured out how to manage my anxiety to a point where I can live successfully and fully (without medicine). I still have my bad days. It is tiring and hard having to be consistently intentional with staying on top of my anxiety.
Sometimes, it is difficult to try and find the positives in your life if you are overwhelmed when dealing with your anxiety. I have found that positive silver lining though, and I have to share. I have learned a beautiful, and unexpected lesson through looking at my anxiety. What is this silver lining you might be wondering? Love, unconditional love. Love and support beyond what I feel I deserve.
I have found a deeper appreciation and love FOR my loved ones by watching them love me the way they do. I am at my absolute worst when anxiety overwhelms me, and you know what? My husband, mom, dad, sister, friends, etc. still love me in SPITE of my anxiety. Take a moment and think about someone who loves you through your anxiety. Do not worry that you wish they didn’t have too, just take a moment to feel the peace and security that their love brings you. They love you so deeply that it does not matter what version of you that they see, because they are going to love you regardless.
It is easy to love someone when life is easy and your relationship is simply able to be centered on love and happiness. It is easy to love someone when everything is good, but it is when everything is falling apart that love is hard to give and even harder to receive. In the hard times being loved means so much more, because you are shown the extent and depth of someone’s’ love for you through their free choice to stay by your side. You see the depth of their love in that they are committed to you and they are not going anywhere. When someone loves you through your worst you know they love you DEEPLY and UNCONDITIONALLY. This is a beautiful thing to realize, right?
With my anxiety I have shown sides of myself that I am ashamed of, but I am still loved by those in my immediate family and by my friends. They may not particularly LIKE my state of anxiousness in that moment, but they still LOVE me regardless. I have been crippled by fear and worry and unable to do things that I need to do for myself, however, they have helped me by simply still loving me.
It is a comfort to me when I am feeling overwhelmed to I not have to worry if my husband is going to walk away, leave me, or become so frustrated that I am no longer worth it. I KNOW that he will be there always no matter his frustration level, and I know that he will always love me. I know that he will always want to help me, and he will always try to support me. My family and friends will be the people that I turn to, and in some cases lash out towards (I hate looking back and knowing I did this to someone who loves me). However, they will be the people that hold me and love me through whatever I am feeling in spite of how I may lash out, act, or react.
At its worst my anxiety has made me need constant reassurance, want to plan for everything (no you cannot ever plan everything), stress out over things I shouldn’t, over-analyze everything from each conversation to each relationship I have, fearful of being alone, terrified of long drives by myself, worried about traveling, etc. and the list continues. I am not a pretty sight when I am stressed out, or when something does not go as I planned. I am not a pretty sight when I am not able to do something I needed to get done, at which point I proceed to worry anxiously over my “to-do” list until the next day when I can finally get it done. I am not a pretty sight as I get more-and-more stressed the closer I get to a long drive by myself. Anxiety in and of itself is N0T a pretty sight.
I know it has to be hard being the spouse, family member, or friend of someone with anxiety. It has got to be difficult being part of my support system that sees me in total freak out mode hearing the same worries and situations over-and-over again. I know it is hard wanting to understand my anxiety, but not being able to. I know it has got to be hard to love someone when they are crying and feeling overwhelmed and they don’t know why, or what they can do in order to fix it. I know it has got to be hard to love someone that can’t turn off their anxiety, so they can just feel like themselves again. I know it has got to be so hard to love someone who feels undeserving of love, because they feel like a mess or a burden.
Anxiety makes it HARD on support systems, family, and friends to understand those of us who suffer from its affliction. But you know what? My support system LOVES me through each situation no matter how hard it is on them. They have learned what I need from them to calm down and manage my anxiety, and they want to help, not out of obligation, but out of love for me.
The fact that we have people that love us through all our problems, faults, worries, and fears teaches us how blessed we are to have them and be loved like that. I know that it makes me want to do better, not just for myself, but for my loved ones. I know that everyday I wake up thankful for my husband who easily forgives me for my outbursts. I am thankful that, most of the time, he understands what it is that I need to hear and what I need to do in order to feel better. I am even more thankful that he doesn’t make me feel bad about myself, how I have reacted, or what I am feeling. Because of his love, I am able to wake up with a regretful and grateful heart to ask for his forgiveness if I lashed out at him. As a receiver of his constant love, I am aware that I want to be deserving of his love. I wake up with the perspective to do better FOR him because he deserves for me to be the best version of myself; he deserves to be loved like he loves me.
Through my husbands’ unconditional love and the love of others, I am inspired by how great love can be. My anxiety has allowed me to understand how much each person in my support system loves me if they are all willing to stay by my side, shoulder my pain, and work towards my goals like they are their own. I love them each so much more, because I know they will never love me less. This ladies and gentleman is the beautiful silver lining of my anxiety. I can look back at my worst moments and know just how loved I am, because of the people standing by my side through the thick of it.
The next time you find yourself overwhelmed with the negatives of anxiety, I challenge you to think about the people you turn towards that willingly help and love you through your anxiety. Appreciate them and know that you are loved beyond what you can comprehend. Accept their unconditional love, because you are deserving of it and know that you will get through this. You are loved unconditionally, and that makes it all so much better.
Until next week,
Hey all you awesome people reading my blog. I'm Ginger and this blog chronicles how I live my life fabulously with anxiety.