At my lowest points of my teenage years, I have pleaded to an invisible force that I would do anything to be devoid of the anxiety that plagued my life.
Around the age of fifteen, a traumatic event triggered the birth of an anxiety disorder that took over an enormous portion of my life and well-being. Too often in the midst of my attacks and episodes, I craved the normality I once possessed. I wanted so desperately to live freely without the weight of my illness as I once had. But after nearly three years of this battle, I don’t want to go back to who I was before my anxiety.
My life was admittedly much easier, but it was far less meaningful. It pains me to say I lived a shallow existence before my anxiety, and a lot of my time was spent worrying about meaningless things. I worried about what I looked like, what my classmates thought of me, who I would sit with at lunch. It was all brutally cliche. But now, in the anxious life I have, everything is different.
I despise every ounce of suffering I have endured and will endure in the future, but I no longer wish to be the person I was before this illness. I’ve often pondered the question, “What would my life be like if I didn’t have anxiety?” I have gained so much from this journey and battle to know that who I would be without anxiety is not a person I’d be proud to be. I fear that without my illness, the process of becoming the person I am today would be significantly delayed if not altogether prevented.
When you suffer, you see an incredible amount of pain, but amazingly, you see even more beauty. Anxiety made me weak and then it made me stronger than I have ever been. Anxiety made me bitter and then it made me fall in love with the world. Anxiety made me feel hopeless and now I feel capable of anything. I’ve learned the only way to get by with any shred of happiness is to find the good in everything.
Photo by Micheal Saisi
Devoid of Anxiety by Emma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.