Yesterday, I co-led a “Real Talk” forum on Anxiety and Depression. It was an open forum where people could discuss their impressions of and experiences with anxiety and depression. These two things don’t manifest the same way in everyone. Anxiety and depression sit upon a broad and complex spectrum, with varying degrees of severity and factors that trigger them. Sometimes it’s temporary. For others, it’s a chronic and/or lifelong struggle. For some, it’s mild. For others, it is debilitating.
However, what touched me deeply yesterday was how prevalent these experiences are. As people shared their stories, there was an unspoken realization across the LARGE group of people in attendance that “hey – I’m not alone in this. Others get it. Others feel it. We are in this together.”
This isn’t to say that everyone has anxiety or depression of some kind. However, I think it’s important to remember that we are a community, and in that community there is often someone (or several someones) that understand what you’re experiencing.
You don’t have to be strong and pretend that you’re not struggling when you are. Life is not a fair weather sport. If you are struggling, there are resources and help available, no matter your circumstances.
You are not alone, and you are not broken. You are human, and it’s okay to be vulnerable; to struggle. Because we all do to some capacity.
Struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression is not the result of a lack of strength or a lack of “faith” or any failure on your part. Whether your experience is circumstantial or chronic, it’s significant and it deserves compassion and a chance to heal.
If you have a broken bone, you wouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor and have it treated. Your mental health is the same. If you’re struggling, accept help. Accept treatment. Lean on your community. It’s your health and it’s worth it. You’re worth it.
You are not an island stranded in a world that doesn’t get it.