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I used to say “there is a design in my flaws” instead of “there is a flaw in my design” and it is true.  In fact, those who fight the battles of mental health issues every day have way more depth in character and understanding than most.  My chemistry is fucked, but I am learning and growing with it, instead of living in denial anymore.  I am forcing the design through the flaws, and it’s beautiful if you ask me.  Painful and sometimes straight shitty, but it’s me.  It is my design, always has been.

After being diagnosed with anxiety, I realized how very true my sentiment on the matter is.  The things I suffer from are not who I am, but a part of my make up.  I cannot get rid of them, much like someone who is blind cannot just start seeing.  I often say “telling me not to worry is like telling Ray Charles to just start seeing!”  Not only was he blind, he is also dead (may he RIP) furthering the fact that he could not just start seeing. I cannot just stop worrying.  I cannot tell you how it starts every time, or how it will go, or end. And trust me, if there was a quick fix I would be the first one sharing that shit for free because it can be the most awful experience in the world.

Mental health issues are real and once I learned what was going on, and what role I had in it, I was able to deal better.  I started to embrace my issues like Aunt Jemma**, the one that no one wants to admit is part of the family and steers clear of at all costs, and while I often can’t stand it/her, the (often reluctant) embracing helped me cope and come to terms with who I am at a core level.

**yes the name was changed to protect the guilty… you know who you are.

The truth is, that it’s not always pretty, and we don’t always know what will help.  I mean, imagine you’re thrust into the cockpit of a naval jet and told: “fly or die!”.  Sometimes, that is how serious the anxiety that overcomes me feels.  I have no idea what to do, how to fly or eject, and impending death is overwhelming.  And there is no plane, which makes it even worse because you cannot make anyone understand the severity of what may or may not be happening.  So how can I be expected to tell someone else how to fly said plane?  It’s an impossible situation.

What helps me might not help someone else, but action is huge for me.  And when you don’t know what to do, communication is the key.  Find the flight manual and sit beside me while I figure it out.  I don’t need to, can’t be “fixed”, and I know how hard that is.  I really do.  As a mother, I would do anything to help my child and if there was nothing I could do, it. would. kill. me.  I do understand how helpless it can feel.  But life isn’t always about fixing, life, my life is about living.  I happen to be living with a mental health issue.

I can live with anxiety, I have no choice.  There are times that I am sure I will not make it and then there are others where life is bliss.  Learning to lean in and cope, deal with the inner most makings of how my brain works allows me to be me.  Open, honest, unabashed.  And frankly, it takes a helluva lot more effort to just be, when you’re fighting your own brain for survival.

If you are suffering from any sort of mental health issues, there is hope, and help out there.  You are not alone, and there is NOTHING wrong with your character.  If you need an advocate, someone in your corner, I can bet there are friends and family who would help.  And then there is always me.  I am generally a hotmess too, but at least we are in the hot-mess-ness together.  Amiright?!

Sending out all the loads of love and light, happiness, good thoughts and joy you need.

Cheers and some x’s and o’s

T