“I don’t like my mind right now, stacking up problems that are so unnecessary. Wish that I could slow things down, I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic…” – Chester Bennington
Silence, a sought after treasure that’s rarely found in our world today. Our world seems to be filled with so much chaos that moments of silence are priceless. I guess that’s why they say, “silence is golden.”
However, when living with a Mental Health Disorder, silence can feel deadly. I don’t want to listen to my thoughts, the never ending battle that’s constantly raging in my head.
I’m a casualty of an invisible war that no one sees and few understand.
Some may wonder how panic can bring a sense of peace. Heck, I myself question that statement every day. I long for serenity yet when I get it, it terrifies me.
If you personally know me, you know that I constantly have some sort of music playing and that I have to fall asleep with my TV on. My thoughts, no matter what time of day, become almost unbearable when they aren’t being stifled by some sort of noise.
When I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (and the 10 years that followed), I couldn’t muster up the courage to confront my anxious thoughts. They were overwhelming, terrifying and insufferable.
It took me many years of hard work and therapy to confront those dreaded monsters in my head. How can mere thoughts hold so much power?
That’s the unexplainable part of Mental Health Disorders such as Anxiety. I can’t explain it fully. I can only type out my thoughts on this page in hopes that it will give people even a fraction of understanding.
Panic is defined as “uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.” How ironic it is that I often feel more comfort in such chaos than in stillness.
Anxiety is a twisted, vicious disorder.
I think the most relevant reason that Mental Health Survivors, like myself, thrive in panic is because it becomes the norm. I constantly hear the thoughts in my head, and this is my daily reality.
I think that in some ways I create my own chaos which fuels my anxiety. It becomes a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to escape. I constantly push myself to do more, be more, achieve more, and ultimately that pressure turns into uncontrollable anxiety.
In my mind, if I’m not achieving something I’m useless. Don’t ask my why my brain is wired that way because I have no clue. The need to do, to accomplish, fuels my reason for existence. It gives me purpose.
The fact that I thrive in a panic-driven environment only causes my surroundings to become more chaotic. Eventually, I’m neck deep in madness that starts to suffocate me. I cry and I question, “why can’t I just feel normal?”
I’ll never understand how a Type A, OCD person (myself) can even function in such an environment. The frustration of dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is something that, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to fully explain.
Anxiety Disorder is living with a set of constant oxymorons. I’m anxious so I need quiet, but the quiet makes my anxiety worse. I long for calm, but I desire chaos. I want to find my special person, but I also need to deal with this alone.
I want someone to comfort me, but I want no one around. I need order and structure, but my mind is a constant mess. I can get through this, but I don’t know how I’m going to live the rest of my life dealing with this.
I’m sure you can see what I mean by frustrating.
Even though life with Anxiety can seem overwhelming and unbearable, I constantly find a strength inside of me to go on. I look around at my family and friends, and they bring me calm in my panic.
There has never been a day where I’ve thought about giving up, but I know some can’t say the same. I understand the suffering that accompanies a Mental Health Disorder and the shame that comes with it.
There is still a stigma associated with Mental Illness, and I’ll never understand why. The world wonders why people don’t seek help, but it’s because of the labels that come with reaching out.
They wonder why we continue to live in our panic, our chaotic surroundings, yet never have the courage to talk about such controversial issues. I refuse to let society label me in a negative way. I refuse to sit back and not use my voice.
People fear what they don’t understand, and Mental Health is unfortunately still extremely misunderstood.
So if, like me, you have a messy mind, remember that it’s okay to thrive in panic. It’s okay to live your life how you’re able to manage it. If chaos brings you serenity then let your life be a crazy masterpiece.
The more I’ve explored my Anxiety, the more I’ve come to learn about myself and what works for me. Sometimes that means chaos, and sometimes (rarely) it means silence.
There’s no manual for this thing called life, and there sure as heck isn’t a manual for living with a Mental Health Illness. Never let anyone make you feel bad because of the things that make you, you.
Find your comfort in the panic, and be proud of your unexplainable, beautiful, messy mind. The most chaotic thoughts often create the most amazing things.