Thought Catalog
June 30, 2016

Why I Refuse to Let My Anxiety and Depression Define Me

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What is the issue?
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albertolopezphoto

Anxiety and depression. It is culminated in the constant thinking, worrying about everything, and letting it affect your life. The frustration, the self-loathing and the endless hours of time drowning in your own all-consuming thoughts.

I know it all because I’ve been there. Through every panic attack and mental breakdown alone in my room or in a room full of strangers, I’ve experienced it all. I can relate.

It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in it all. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not good enough for others because of your need to overanalyze every little thing, where the thoughts race through your head at a mile a minute every day. That’s the problem with anxiety and depression; it makes it so easy for you to believe the

Anxiety and depression can be crippling. It grasps your mind and body and doesn’t let go, no matter how many times you convince yourself it doesn’t exist in your body. It can make you feel weak and useless. But, you know what? It actually makes you the strongest person in the world.

Imagine waking up every morning to face the same issue day in and day out. You are doing just that, facing your own inner demons every single day. And it makes you stronger. Your anxiety and depression is making you stronger, no matter how much it feels like it is eating away at your insides and taking over your life.

Not only are you strong, but you are brave. You are brave for not simply giving in. You are brave for living your everyday life even though your mind is telling you that it is not worth the pain. And anxiety and depression can be painful to the point where you feel the need to hole up in your room and let the tears spill out. Crying out the frustration becomes more appealing when your mind is constantly running at the speed of light, telling you you’re not worthy of the good things in life.

The demons you have to face are ones that live inside of you, and how brave are you to deal with them every minute of every day?
Even worse, it becomes so simple to look at others and compare yourself to them. Magnified by anxiety and depression, comparing myself to the world around me is something I find myself doing every day. I want to stop, but sometimes my mind won’t let me.

There are times when I look in the mirror and hate what I see. My mind is constantly telling me to be skinnier, prettier and just better. And guess what? You’ll believe it because who do you trust more than yourself? It is a never-ending cycle of thoughts that can keep you awake all night long. But it’s not just you.

Sometimes you feel embarrassed or ashamed, but anxiety and depression is something so common. Millions of people go through the same thing each and every day and they understand. The last thing you are in this world is alone in your fight against yourself.

It is time for us to stop feeling embarrassed for being in our own heads. There historically has been a stigma associated with anxiety and depression, but the more people talk about it, the more that stigma will end up becoming the norm.

They always say God gives his hardest battles to his toughest soldiers and this…this is tough. There’s not worse feeling than feeling like you aren’t even good enough for yourself, let alone others.

Overcoming this won’t be easy or an overnight fix. But that is okay. And you need to remember that.

Each day that you get up and go on with life is a day that you’ve won the battle. Each day you take on the world is a little victory.

So, do one thing that scares you each day. Be brave. Because as those small victories become the norm, you’ll begin to realize that anxiety and depression may be a part of your life, but they certainly don’t define it. TC mark

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