You Are Not Your Anxiety

Your mental illness does not define you: You are BRAVE.

Anxiety sucks; plain and simple. It approaches you with a quick beating heart to the point where sometimes you may feel you are going into cardiac arrest. I hate that most of the times I get on a plane, I think I might die. When movie theater shootings were common, I couldn’t go with out making up an escape plan. In high school, I would skip days sometimes because I would have dreams the night before that a gunman walked through the front doors. Now, it sometimes comes when I’m in big groups of people. I’ll stand there awkwardly, waiting for someone to approach me because I’m too afraid to approach them myself.

But here’s the thing, those worries that may be insanely stupid to you happen to make me stay up late at night in worry. To be honest, it happens to a ton of people, but that does not make us who we are.

I am not a coward. I am not a baby. I am not a quitter. I am not of the fainthearted just because of the anxiety I was diagnosed with.

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You are not your mental illnesses. You are not depression. You are not your anxiety: You are you.

You are the person that despite the moments where you feel trapped, unable to breathe, you get through it. My Lord, you do better than just getting through it. You conquer it, and live it.

You are brave…so brave. You are courageous. You are you. You are not the moments when you can’t get out of bed. You are not the moments where you let anxiety get the best of you. You’re the you that after it’s all said and done, you still continue to get up each time.

You are the person that is still living despite your mental illness. You are the person dancing on that disappointment that life through at you. You are the person doing your best, and trying your hardest.

You are an amazing you. A brave you, and a beautiful you.

Never forget that.

McKenna Shanholtzer
I'm just a twenty one year old girl who loves too much, hopes endlessly, and writes to bring people a sense of acceptance in our crazy world that can sometimes be difficult. I write to bring a sense of comfort when you least expect it, kindness when you feel no one else has given it to you, and above all; hope. Along with being an aspiring writer, I'm a songwriting major and hope that one day my songs can change lives too. I think it's important in our world for people to accept that it's okay to not be okay sometimes, to look at the small things in life that bring you joy, and to love yourself in every way possible. Happiness can be the smallest of things, so go get your favorite latte, have dance parties in your kitchen to Taylor Swift and re-read novels. Happiness is just that.

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