Open Topic

When Anxiety Strikes.

When people tell me I’m over-analyzing things or overthinking it or reading too much into the situation, I want them to be right. I want to dismiss this little thing that is overcoming my thoughts and emotions as me being a paranoid fuck.

When anxiety strikes, I would love nothing more than to be completely wrong.

I would love to categorize this as just another thing I thought too much about and the scenario I played out didn’t come true before my eyes.

But every once in awhile (actually more than once) I’m completely spot on and I hate it.

There are times where my friends tell me this conclusion I’ve come up with is crazy and there is no way it could come true. But I just have this uneasy feeling I can’t explain. It’s the red flag that goes off in my mind that I know something isn’t right.

Then I watch in horror as my predictions become a cold reality and I’m left in tears over some ending I completely saw coming because of a simple change in tone with one sentence.

People with anxiety have an innate ability to read situations and read between every line most people look past. People with anxiety have an ability to read others so accurately that a lot of these things they think about do come to life. 

When your senses are heightened and you are constantly thinking, you avoid bad situations that can cause danger or a threat in your life.

There are two parts to the brain that help us to understand anxiety disorder. The amygdala and the hippocampus. 

“The amygdala is an almond- shaped structure deep in the brain..It can alert the rest of your brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders,” (Henry, 2013).

This is why people with anxiety disorder can sense more so than the average person when something might be repeating itself from the past in a situation. It’s the breakdown you might have had for whatever reason. Your emotional response to that is stored in your memory.

“The hippocampus is the part of your brain that encodes threatening events into memories,” (Henry, 2013).

When you connect the situation you are dealing with at hand with something that’s gone wrong in the past, you have that example to look back at.

For example, if someone has been cheated on multiple times they look for any sign their current partner may be acting the same way their exes have to avoid being as blindsided as they were the first time it happened. The emotions and the memory scar to a point where you’re anxious about everyone. It isn’t just a lack of trust or confidence, it’s in every person in your past who has again proven this will happen again.

When my brain starts churning I want to be wrong. Whether it’s my judgment of a person or a situation, I want to trust people. I don’t want to analyze every detail wondering if there’s more to it. I don’t want to reread texts or wonder if what I said or did was wrong. I don’t want to come up with three scenarios just so I’m prepared for the worst possible outcome. But when that worst possible outcome comes to a head, all I can think about is how I wasn’t crazy and I was right.

There is no worse feeling than that moment you feel something off inside you and you can’t shake it. You can’t stop thinking about it.

It’s an increased heart rate, it’s over-thinking, it’s muscles tensed up and a heightened senses of reflexes, it’s a loss of breath or some breathing exercise to get oxygen into your lungs normally, to prepare you for whatever situation is about to occur. Anxiety is your body physically responding when there is a threat.

And while I wish I could control every rapid thought or just not think so deeply or so much I think the only thing I can do is learn how to manage it.

While I know anxiety will affect every relationship I do have, I hope the people I choose understand and leave me with confidence over doubt. I hope the people I choose constantly are there to remind me they won’t leave. I hope the people I choose remind me what I deserve in those anxious moments I think it’s less and I’m too critical of myself.

I can’t control anxiety disorder and if given the choice, it isn’t something I’d pick, but all we can do is play the hand we’re dealt in life as best we can.

Open Topic

If I Had To Choose, I Rather Be The One Hurt Every Time.

How do you explain to someone you’re everything I could want in a person, only I don’t want you? 

You don’t say it, but you know you could have that person if you wanted and that’s just too easy and too simple. And the truth is, the feelings just aren’t there. 

So you go for someone else who doesn’t have the qualities you admire in this person, but it’s the challenge that makes this other person appealing. 

How do you explain to a person you care about just not enough? And you’ve thought of them that way but you’d rather not. 

You don’t say that because it’s easier for you to choose silence. 

How do you explain to someone I like having you there when everything else goes wrong and you’re the one person I know I can rely on? 

You don’t. Because any right person with self-respect would walk away if you said that. So you keep them at arm’s length when you need them because that’s what is easier for you. 

How do you explain they are just some second thought when someone else cancels or you’re bored? 

Because when you cancel on them, it doesn’t affect you and you know they’ll still be there understanding. But it’s easier for you to live according to your own agenda. 

How do you explain the comfort in attention and texts answered every time when you can’t reciprocate it or care enough to. But you like knowing someone does?

Everyone likes knowing someone cares, so you keep them close enough because that’s what is easier for you. 

How do you explain to someone you’d like to keep acting like you’re a couple with the movies, the dinner and drunk nights ending at 2am where you know the person next to you wants more, but won’t do anything about it and you don’t care enough to make what you think is a mistake? 

You don’t. Because it’s easier to say nothing and float around with the idea of maybe then admit any of this and make things awkward. Because it’s easier for you.

How do you say I’m just not interested? 

You don’t. So you make up another excuse because it’s easier to say you’re busy or BS someone you know would never do the same. You think you’re sparing their feelings.

How do you explain to someone I didn’t answer your text because at the time I didn’t want to talk to you or I was too busy? Because honestly, you just don’t care enough to make them a priority.

But you don’t say those things because it’s easier to say a text didn’t go through, then admit you didn’t care enough to text back when they answer you every time. 

How do you explain the reason you’re sending mixed signals isn’t because you’re confused about them, but rather you are so sure you don’t care but you don’t want to hurt their feelings?

How do you explain that long conversation you had meant nothing to you as you talk to a lot of other people the same way? 

You don’t say that because you know that one conversation might have made their day even though all you did was answer. 

If given the choice, I’d choose being on the other side. I’d choose getting hurt every time.

Because I don’t ever want to be that person who leads someone on. I don’t want to be that person who causes someone else pain. I don’t want to be the reason someone isn’t sleeping at night or walks around with their head down. I don’t want someone to fall for me and mistake love and infatuation as I’m fumbling and confused for the real thing. I don’t want to be the reason people disbelief in love. 

Because I’ve been on both ends and as much as it hurts to be the one hurt, there is a greater pain in looking at someone who you know cares, who you know would do anything for you if you asked, who you know would always be there. 

There is a greater pain in hurting someone who you know would never do the same.

You look at them and there is a pain you see behind their smile because you aren’t giving them what they need. And they look at you and think they are the one not good enough. 

There is a difference between not good enough and not right.

But you can’t even explain that because you know what it’s like to try so hard and try to be good enough for someone. 

You know that defeating feeling of looking at yourself in the mirror and wanting to change for that one person.

So when the ball is in my court and I’m questioning for a moment whether I should play, I put it down and I walk away. Because toying with someone else’s emotions because I’m unsure of my own is the most unkind thing I can do for someone who I know wouldn’t do the same. 

And as we part ways and I slowly fade out of their life, the pain they feel will first come out as anger. 

It’ll be the unanswered text as they send another. It’ll be the message I couldn’t answer. It’ll be the unfollow or unfriend that hurts me to do so. 

But the kindest thing I can do for someone who I don’t care about, is let them go find someone who can.

And we’ll cross paths and it’ll hurt as we walk past one another like we don’t each other at all, but it’s what needs to happen so they get what they deserve and I would have loved for it to be me. But you can’t control how you feel about people. 

So I’ll let them hate me. I’ll let them think I’m some cold-hearted bitch. I’ll let them bad mouth me if that’s what they need to get over me.

Because I would rather hurt someone with the truth then paint lies just so it’s easier for me. 

Open Topic

Depression: A War With Myself.

My name is Carla Williams and I am a WARRIOR.

I fought in the heat of a serious battle. I have scars that are internal. Sometimes internal scars are even worse than physical scars. This battle lasted for 25 long years and it nearly took my life. However I came, I saw, and I conquered. It was not easy in any sense. Let me tell you about a battle I’m fighting called “Major Depressive Disorder”.

Major depressive disorder is a serious mental illness. However many still do not see it as such.

If you try to tell someone who hasn’t got a clue about depression, they will often times tell you…

You’re just going through a rough patch. Think more positive and be strong.

Or they may tell you something like…

Don’t be weak. People have it a lot worse than you.

What they really should be telling you to do is

GO. GET. HELP.

Many people still don’t comprehend that depression is an illness and not just a sadness. They don’t know about how you can’t sleep at night. They don’t understand how you can’t concentrate or even function with normal day to day activities. They also don’t know that depression can also cause physical stress as well. That people die from this illness every year.

If the stress from depression doesn’t give them a heart attack or a stroke… they may take matters into their own hands and kill themselves. After all suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States (Nami).

When I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder at age twenty I was in denial. I knew I wasn’t myself anymore but the social stigmas of mental illness scared me. People made fun of depression. Many even deemed those who suffer with it crazy. However, I wasn’t crazy. I was your average twenty year old. Just graduated high school, working a part time job, looking for love in all the wrong places. Nobody knew how much I suffered.

Out of fear I refused help. I chose to keep suffering silently and alone for years until I could no longer take it. Darkness swallowed me whole. “Dementors”. Dementors basically look like the grim reaper. A demon that wants to suck the happiness and life out of everything and everyone.

People who get around Dementors even describe “I felt I would never be cheerful again”. This is exactly what depression feels like. This is exactly how I felt for so long. A week before my seventeenth birthday I majorly overdosed on four prescription medications. While I should have died God decided to keep me here. I spent a week in the hospital.

At this point I was tired. Tired of suffering. Tired of being ashamed and afraid. So finally I decided to get help. I’ve been to therapist and have taken anti depressants in the past. However medication often times made me feel worse (even though for some people it works great).

I had to find alternative therapeutic methods to get me back or track. Such as writing and exercise. I also felt better when I talked about what was going on with me instead of keeping everything inside. That was my worst issue. I would hold everything in until I felt I would explode. That started to change.

I finally started to get my life back on track little by little… but it didn’t stop there. I never wanted anyone to feel afraid or ashamed of depression. Help was the answer to recovery. So I became an advocate. I shared my story on social media. I started posting facts and statistics to prove to others how serious this Illness really is. It started to get some attention.

This is why I am a WARRIOR. A battle that tried to take my life didn’t kill me as hard as it tried. I now fight for others still in the heat of the battle. A battle so many feel they will lose. However I’m here to tell them do not give up. Keep fighting because your life is worth living.

Open Topic

This Is What 'I Do Not Love You' Feels Like.

“I love you.” 

“I know you do,” he said.

What I thought would bring a sense of relief when three words that kept me up at night finally escaped my mouth, really left me feeling even more vulnerable. There’s a sting to ‘I love you,’ when the feelings aren’t reciprocated. There’s a pain in walking away that moment you realize your love just wasn’t enough.

It’s looking down at a screen and a silence that kills you.

It’s staring at a door just hoping they walk back in.

It’s the apology you’ve heard a thousand times. But you want to believe the excuses.

It’s looking at your reflection in the bathroom mirror and seeing a pretty face, but under the layers of makeup is self-doubt, criticism and a feeling of being inadequate.

It’s fixating upon flaws you wish you could change and you tell yourself it’s them. And you’d love nothing more than to believe it. But you don’t.

It’s hearing the words ‘you deserve better’ but in your mind, you build this same person up who knocked you so far down and you wonder, ‘is there anyone better?’

It’s the look your best friend gives you and the exchange simply says, ‘drop it. Don’t ask.’

Its tears as your pillow absorbs each drop and you’ve never felt so lonely.

It’s being met with darkness at 2AM as you lay there wondering how you even got here?

It’s being emotionally exhausted because for some reason, your best wasn’t good enough and you’re still trying to figure out why.

It’s people asking how you are, you simply say fine because no one wants to hear that it feels like you’re drowning.

It’s the moment you stop. Stop trying. Stop caring. Stop everything. And it hurts you to do so, but it hurts more standing in a place looking at a person and never being what they need. 

And it kills you to walk away and try to move on.

And you look for any reason to turn back around. But the truth has been clear for so long, it just took until now to see it.

Sometimes things end much sooner than goodbye.

The ugly truth is, you can’t love someone into liking you.

But the hardest part isn’t some unrequited love story.

The hardest part is, standing in front of them and pretending this doesn’t hurt like hell.

So you’re forced to smile instead of cry. You’re forced to answer with a fine when they ask how you are, but the reality is you haven’t stopped thinking about them, you haven’t slept in days and it physically hurts all of it and the thoughts haunt you of what you’ll never be.

You’re forced to walk away without looking back. The hardest thing you’ll ever do is, letting someone you love go. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love takes work. But convincing someone to love you, is a lost, cause that ends in your own heartbreak and tears.

Open Topic

Jealousy Is Self-Destructive.

Jealousy is going to kill your confidence. It’s going to make you feel like you’re falling behind. It’s going to make you feel like you aren’t good enough. It’s going to make you feel like you’ve been doing something wrong. Your jealousy is going to trick you into believing there is something wrong with you, when really, the only thing wrong is your mindset.

Jealousy is going to kill your motivation, drive to succeed. It’s going to make you feel like giving up. it’s going to make you wonder whether there’s any point in trying, since there are millions of people out there who are smarter than you or prettier than you or more talented than you. It’s going to make you doubt your own abilities until you do something you regret, like quitting.

Jealousy is going to kill your kindness. It’s going to turn you into someone cynical, critical. It’s going to convince you to start dropping snide, backhanded compliments to people who intimidate you instead of admiring their beauty and recognizing their worth. It’s going to turn you into someone who views everyone else as potential competition, instead of potential friends.

Jealousy is going to kill your friendships. It’s going to push you away from the people who mean the most to you. It’s going to make you feel like the friends you should be celebrating alongside, are actually your rivals. It’s going to make you resent them during the times when they need your support the most.

Jealousy is going to kill your romantic relationships. It’s going to insult your person. It’s going to make them think you don’t trust them when they say they love you, they find you beautiful, and they want to spend the rest of their life with you. Jealousy is going to put a wedge between the two of you. It’s going to make it hard for you to form a sturdy bond, because you’ll always worry about it breaking.

Jealousy is going to kill your chance at self-love. It’s going to make you feel inadequate. It’s going to make you wish you could change your face, your body, your weight, your personality. It’s going to trick you into feeling like you aren’t beautiful, like you aren’t worthy of love and success.

Jealousy is going to kill your reputation. It’s going to make you come across as cold and bitter. It’s going to make you look selfish and insecure. It’s going to make you seem unapproachable, untrustworthy, and unlikable because no one wants to spend time with someone who is going to get jealous and lash out. No one wants to spend time with someone filled with so much hatred and negativity.

Jealousy is going to kill your happiness. It’s going to change your mood. It’s going to raise your stress levels. It’s slowly going to eat away at you. It’s going to harm you in more ways than you can count. It’s going to make you more miserable than you deserve to feel. 

Open Topic

It Is OK Not To Be OK.

I see what’s behind your strong face. I see the pain you’re hiding to protect yourself and to keep up that image of a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need anyone’s help. I see what you’re doing and I get it.

I know you can’t afford to show weakness. I know that you have to get up every morning and along with your make-up, put a smile on your face.

Because that is what a smile is to you—a removable piece of make-up.

You have your reasons for acting like that. You have to keep it together because there is someone else you’re protecting.

You’re pretending you’re okay for the sake of someone dear to you, someone you can’t let down.

The sad part is, no one ever asks if you can do it. No one cares where you get the strength from.

People think you’re like that as if you have a choice. But you don’t have a choice, do you? Being strong is something you HAVE to be.

You were taught that tears are a sign of weakness. You were taught that no matter what, you have to get up in the morning and go on—for the sake of the others.

No one has ever told you that you have to think about yourself, too.

If you don’t feel like smiling today, then don’t smile. If you don’t feel like talking to others, retrieve to your lonesome.

Do whatever the hell you want because you deserve it.

Hey, it’s okay not to be okay. We weren’t made perfect, we weren’t born with a smile.

We were born with a choice to act the way we feel. Everything else we do is a lie.

Don’t lie to yourself and don’t bottle up your feelings. They are eventually going to float out.

And when that time comes, you’re going to pay the price for not respecting yourself this whole time.

What is strength, anyway?

I know that’s what you’re thinking now. Strength is being able to keep it together.

Strength is the ability to not show your emotions. Strength is when you hold your tears in. Well, you got it all wrong.

What you think strength is, is a Big. Fat. Lie. You’re lying to yourself and by lying, you’re not respecting yourself.

Then, how can you respect or love anyone else?

Let me tell you what being strong really is. It’s having the courage to admit when your life is going down the drain.

It’s being able to admit that you’re not having a great day. Strength is all of that but the biggest sign of how much of a badass you are, is the ability to live through all of that and come back stronger than ever.

Being strong is when your life is falling apart and you decide to turn it around.

When you hit rock bottom and you know there is no other way than going up from where you are.

And you go ahead and do it. You take one thing at a time and you’re successful. You’re building yourself one small step at a time.

That’s what being strong really is.

Never be afraid to admit you need someone. That is not a sign of weakness. That is a sign you have the guts to show everyone how you really feel.

You’re so brave for doing that. Do you know why?

It’s because people lie all the time. People think that being vulnerable, is something you should be ashamed of.

They automatically feel exposed and threatened. They’re living in fear of getting hurt.

But none of them gets that besides getting hurt, you can get help from the people who love you.

But the people who care about you see this image of a strong young woman fighting every battle, but what they don’t see, is that you’re swallowing your every tear and hiding your pain.

That’s why they won’t offer to help you. They think you don’t need it.

But listen to this: “I need you to help me!” Try this, it’s not as hard as you think.

It’s so much easier than everything you’re doing now. And most importantly, it’s more than okay.

Open Topic

Just Because I Always Seem To Have It Together, Doesn't Me I Don't Have Heavy Baggage.

You know that girl who seems as if she never takes the smile off her face? The girl who looks like she doesn’t have a worry on her mind, who is always relaxed and handles all of her problems with ease?

You know that girl who is always optimistic, no matter what, and who never allows the darkness to consume her?

The girl who is constantly joking around and who somehow manages to find the good in every bad situation?

She sounds almost perfect, right? In fact, I bet you would love to trade places with her. 

She looks like someone who doesn’t waste her time on overthinking, someone who can cut you out of her life in a matter of minutes and someone who is completely indifferent toward everything going on around her. 

Well, guess what? I’m that girl. And I’m here to tell you that things are nowhere near what they seem to be.

You see, I’m going through a lot—I just don’t allow it to be seen.

The truth is that I’m heartbroken, that I have more than one problem and that just like you, sometimes I don’t know whether I will make it or not. 

It’s not that I’m suppressing my negative emotions or ignoring my pain, hoping that it will go away.

I’m not sweeping my baggage under the carpet—I’m simply not showing it to anyone who crosses my path.

You might call me guarded or overly careful when it comes to people but according to my experiences, you get nothing by showing everyone how you feel.

No, the world won’t help you deal with your troubles and they won’t give you a hand when you’re going through hardships—they’ll just see them as weaknesses and use everything they know against you.

So, what’s the point of crying out loud and constantly complaining? What’s the point of playing the victim and expecting other people’s sympathy?

Will it magically chase away my demons, heal my past traumas and repair my crushed heart? It won’t, will it now?

Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that I’m trying to represent my life as ideal.

I’m not ashamed of my emotional load and I’m not pretending to be better than you; I just have a hard time sharing my deepest emotions and opening up completely. 

However, just because I don’t let anyone see my pain, it doesn’t mean I’m indestructible.

It doesn’t make me stronger than the rest and it doesn’t make my heart unbreakable.

Just because you don’t notice the burden I’m carrying around, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Just because I don’t talk about everything that’s been weighing me down, it doesn’t make it easy. 

Just because you know nothing about my break-ups, family matters or health problems, it doesn’t mean my life is perfect.

Just because I don’t keep on posting pathetic motivational messages or sad quotes all over my social media profiles, it doesn’t mean nothing touches me.

Just because I don’t go around telling people about my mental issues and don’t treat them as some kind of a trend of modern society, it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with depression and anxiety.

Just because I laugh away my troubles, it doesn’t mean I don’t cry myself to sleep. 

Just because I managed to win my battles, it doesn’t make the windmills easy to fight. Just because I see my struggles as blessings, it doesn’t mean they didn’t hit me. 

Just because you don’t see my sad story, it doesn’t make it fake or non-existent.

Just because you never saw me break, it doesn’t mean I’m a rock which is impossible to harm. 

All of you notice nothing besides my happy moments and my triumphs. Nevertheless, have you ever wondered how much effort and sacrifices there are behind my every success? 

So please, think about all of this the next time you envy or judge me or the next time you wish to trade places with me.

Think about all the tears which are hidden behind that smile you see, about all the sacrifices laying behind every achievement and all of the invisible load I carry on my back.

And I’m not the only one going through life like this. There exist people who don’t like being the center of attention, who don’t enjoy drama and who prefer jumping over their obstacles on their own. 

It doesn’t matter whether someone is going through a tough break-up, or whether their family member is sick, if they have a work-related crisis or are dealing with something you know nothing about and is beyond your comprehension, the bottom line is the same—they do their best to work things out without having to ask for anyone’s help. 

Think about that the next time you hurt me, convinced that it will cause no damage to me.

The next time you treat me like a fool, the next time you run away from me at the first glance of trouble in my life and the next time you forget I’m only a human made of flesh and blood.

I’m just begging you to have this one thing in mind: everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. And we all deal with life’s circumstances in a different way.

After all, how many times have you hidden your tears from the rest of the world? How many times have you said that everything is in perfect order, when it clearly wasn’t?

So, just because someone doesn’t go around crying about everything bad they experienced, don’t see it as a sign that their life is going smoothly because I assure you it’s not; nobody’s life does.

In fact, there is a possibility that this person has it way worse than you. 

beautiful portrait of a carefree friendly approachable girl with a stunning smile and cute looks