Photographer & Mental Health Advocate
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Anxiety Awareness

Thankful sufferer

Thanksgiving has finally arrived! The day where everyone comes back home to their loved ones, eat amazing home cooked meals and give thanks for what they have. Almost everyone will have the same thoughts, " I'm thankful for my family," " I'm thankful to be alive," "For food," etc. And all of those are beautiful and heartwarming but I want to show you what an anxiety sufferer is truly thankful for.

I'm thankful that I'm still alive, and not the typical way others are thankful for life, because I have a mental illness, my heart races faster than normal hearts do when I'm having a panic attack. And though rare, people have actually died from panic attacks because their hearts have gave out. So thank you heart, your strength is amazing and I'm sorry you have to go through so much stress. I promise you, I'm truly trying to relax.

I'm thankful that I have family who are understanding. Yes I do an amazing job at handling it all on my own and keeping it at bay but I can only do that because I know if I'm about to have an attack, I'm in a safe space. A space where I will not be judge for who I am and what I go through. Not many anxiety sufferers can say they have a family who understands and loves them for who they are and for you guys, I'm truly praying that one day they will.

I'm thankful that I'm doing okay today. Yes, I admit holiday rush does get me a bit frantic and stressed but I'm so happy to be able to spend it with family and friends. So thank you anxiety, for taking a break today and allowing me to live in this moment. I know you'll come back but today, I am okay and at this moment today is all that matters.

I'm thankful that there is medication to take if I cannot handle one of my attacks. So much is stigmatized when it comes to medication for the mind. People think that it's something we can control or do purposefully for attention. INCORRECT INCORRECT INCORRECT!  You don't tell someone who has diabetes to stop taking their insulin if they need it. So why do you think you have the right or knowledge to tell someone to "stop" having an anxiety attack? We can't just STOP it, don't you think we would have STOPPED it if we could. The chemicals in our mind react differently than normally, thus causing our situations. It is out of our control and if anything, it's one of the most complex things to control because it has to do with the MIND! So thank you medication, because I know if need be, I can rely on you to ease my worried mind.

I'm thankful for the internet! Aren't we all haha! No but really, so much negativity is spewed out into the internet world that we tend to forget the amazing things the internet has done. For one it has given many of us anxiety sufferers a platform to speak out and raise awareness. I have seen so many people talking about mental illness and I cry every single time, why, because there is hope. Hope that one day we will live in a world where we will not be judge because of our illness but loved because of our strengths. 

I will forever and always be thankful for the friends that I considered my second family. For Brian, my love, who grows with me everyday and helps me remember why I do what I do. Without my family, friends and pups I would not be here. When you love someone else, it forces you to feel their emotions. It reminds you why disappearing would be the worst thing you could ever put them through because you know the feeling of hurt. So thank you for loving me for who I am, and believing in everything that I do. You guys are my hope.

And last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my fellow anxiety sufferers. We are NEVER alone, and when we help each other out, we not only heal the other person, we heal ourselves. And it's so magical that feeling of helping and knowing you are being helped in return. I love you all even though I don't know you. Remember that love does not need to come from someone you know, love is a powerful emotion that overcomes every obstacle. I love you all for your strength and I pray that you never forget that you are strong. And if you do, come to me, I promise to show you what you have forgotten to see. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and remember, we should be thankful everyday. To be alive is truly a blessing but to be alive and living, well, there are no words for that. Until then,

Xoxo Jacklyn