To The Girl Who Is Hiding Her Anxiety Behind Her Smile

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You are doing yourself more harm than good keeping this to yourself.

I feel like I have been extremely blessed in how I was raised and the love that was given out to me. I have had amazing friends, good grades, hobbies that have given me inspiration, and overall happiness and thankfulness for the life I am living. But, since the start of college, things slowly shifted into a feeling I had never felt before and funks that I was unable to get myself out of.

Instead of talking about these feelings I was having, I hid it behind a smile and being happier than I truly was. It was easy to cover up my anxiety by giving a lot of love to others and focusing my energy on others happiness instead of my own. I realized this past year that my anxiety had reached a point that was out of my control where I frequently was having panic attacks and always felt so alone and stressed.

I constantly was in my own head about issues I was going through but was too scared to talk to others about it. I worked really hard to be involved and overfill my plate so I didn’t have time to think about how unbalanced I always was feeling. It finally hit me this past year when I had several anxiety attacks where I felt as far away from myself than I ever could’ve imagined. I felt alone and like I was in a hole I wasn’t sure how to dig out of. I finally reached out to my mom and had her come up to school to listen to what I had been going through over the past couple of months.

Here is what I learned:

You will never figure anxiety out on your own.

My anxiety got out of control in 2018. I had never felt more singled out and confused about who I was. I was looking for reasons behind why I was feeling the way I was and bottled it up. I kept it to myself because I knew that there were people out there in the world with far greater issues than I.

I didn’t want to draw attention to myself for something I thought I could handle, but I couldn’t. The path to me finding internal happiness and strength was when I opened up and shared the issues I was having with my mom. I was able to explain and work on creating a plan to figure out how to get back on track and in control of my life. After revealing what I was going through, I had someone on my side. I was no longer alone. I had someone that daily was checking in on me to see how I was feeling and someone to send me inspiration and guide me to doing more things for myself.

You have anxiety, that doesn’t mean you are seeking attention.

Like me, you probably are scared to tell others you are feeling different and having panic attacks because you don’t want to infringe your problems on someone else, you can see others have issues of their own, and there are far worse things going on in the world than the little anxiety you’re dealing with.

Well, you are wrong.

I thought all of those things but dealing with anxiety alone is a huge issue and can create large problems. It is always better to find the support. It is scary to be vulnerable and let others know that you have struggled or are struggling, like this article. But being upfront and honest is the way I have found happiness.

Almost everyone these days goes through something regarding their mental health.

You are not alone. I knew that too, and I was still scared. Your mental health is important to learn about. It is crucial that you know your body and understands what it needs to be happy, have less stress, and live a good life. Everyone is dealing with some sort of inner battle and some just choose to hide it. If you are upfront about what is going on to your loved ones or important people in your life, you could potentially be helping them as well.

Hiding your anxiety behind happiness can do more damage than good.

I truly thought that hiding my anxiety by focusing my love on others would fix my issues. I still deal with that today. I find myself sometimes giving people more love than I give myself and that is something that I realize and am working towards. Hiding your anxiety behind your happiness can do you more harm than good.

Being overly happy and welcoming actually made me feel worse. I always got compliments on how “nice” or “sweet” to others I was and that made me so sad inside that I couldn’t feel that way about myself and what I was going through. Hiding your mental wellness can put your farther behind than you want.

My mental health will be something that I am always working on. I know that when I get overly stressed or have arguments with others my anxiety and stress levels will fluctuate. It is an ongoing battle that can easily be handled if we all stay on top of it and read our bodies.

By Grace Rigdon for theodysseyonline

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