I’ve been afraid most of my life. Afraid of getting in trouble. Afraid of authority figures. Afraid of standing up for myself. That’s what depression and anxiety do. Later I began to be afraid of being afraid, and was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. At that point, something inside snapped, because now I alternate between being afraid of going to Walmart and feeling like a superhero – sometimes in the same day.
I remember eight years ago, when I lay curled up in a fetal position on my bedroom floor, trying to speak – to make some kind of noise. At first, nothing would come out. Years of self-loathing, depression, and anxiety had convinced me I had no right to a voice. No right to opinions or feelings. No right to even a self.
But I kept trying, and eventually I could say words. Words turned into sentences. Over several years, I convinced myself that every human had a right to survive, and once the dam broke, I started running up to my friends with a goofy smile on my face and yelling “I’m allowed have feelings!” Read More