Fun story: I’ve been anxiety free for at least a month.
This isn’t like smoking. You don’t fall off the boat once and then maybe binge for a few months before remembering how much it sucks and resolving to quit again. (Note: I obviously have no idea what addiction is like.)
Anxiety is a come-as-she-pleases bitch. She senses a weakness in you — whether you have a low-grade fear of something happening in your life or you just haven’t been sleeping enough — and she attacks. You can’t breathe right; you lose even more sleep.
Have you ever, say, really needed to break off a relationship or get out of an unhealthy workplace? Once you left, you felt that INCREDIBLE RELIEF that doesn’t necessarily sink in right away. But, with time, you recognize the incredible relief it provides.
The last month without that ish, then, has been EVERYTHING! I made a lot of changes in my life, including the end of a job that a lot of people constantly ask about. I don’t even care that I have to answer questions about it constantly. I am happy and able to handle stress without imploding.
I know anxiety and mental health are such tricky topics, and that’s why I talk about it often. Just gotta keep it fresh, yo. You don’t have to live with that pit in your stomach or constantly feeling like YOU suck. Because you don’t. (Er, maybe you do, but that’s not anxiety then.) I thought I was clinically depressed. Then I talked to a kickass doc who snapped some sense into me and told me to make moves and take charge of my own happiness. And I did. And I am so happy.
Listen, a lot of things go into happiness. You really do need to sleep lots and eat well and exercise. You do. Science, bitch. But you also need to do things solely because THEY MAKE YOU HAPPY. I don’t know why, but that always seemed like such a weak and selfish motivator. I always thought I needed to be sacrificing for others’ happiness — or rather, what I perceived as their happiness.
When I was a kid, I remember once choosing what I wanted to do for my birthday party. I tried to make it whatever my guests would want. Then my mother said, “Why are you planning a party for them? It’s not their birthday.” BOOM. Relief.
To me, making myself happy means cleaning my apartment, sticking to a skincare regimen, and eating açai bowls approximately 5x per week. I exercise because I know I need it, and because after a lot of it, I realize I like it. Happiness is not always having some crazy plans. It is sitting on the couch and laughing with someone else. It’s writing a letter to someone without them knowing. It’s that surprise and smile you get when someone realizes you remembered something about them. Why wouldn’t I choose to do these things?
I’m the last person so many people would ever expect to be speaking about happiness and fulfillment in the face of awful stuff like anxiety. I like to laugh, and I hate to get upset. This is how I apply my #FunkyFresh self to real-world, personal issues. I kinda like it. It makes me happy.