I have decided to start writing the occasional letter to you, sweet reader. Dear human. It’s been brewing since I read Frog and Toad: The Letter, a few days ago. Really, in some way, a lot of my social media presence has been speaking to those who are just like me- humans trying their best, a lot of it sharing with the hopes that someone may pick up something from what I have experienced, studied, and learned. But in some ways, it’s just not as real or intimate a feeling as a letter between two strangers, two friends, two humans. So, here we are. My first letter, to you.
I find you sitting on my couch, finishing up a brownie, about to dive in and watch another episode of The Great British Bake Off. To be so truthfully honest, I have been blue lately. A dark blue. Motivation, energy, desire, interest has been lacking. At the end of the day lately I have the want (perhaps the need) to dive under my weighted blanket and turn on this show. Baking has become a newish stress relieving hobby of mine- something about kneading bread and walking away with creating something that is truly so delicious from simple ingredients just has a way of hitting the spot for me.
I am stuck in a place of trying to figure out if I am trying to kick my anxiety out by doing all these things or if it’s me giving into anxiety and avoiding the things I really need to do- like exercise, yoga, and better eating. I know (me personally) that I need those things to feel balanced, to feel decent, but those things are so hard when your sympathetic nervous system is in a stage of disarray. It doesn’t help when I think- these things on my plate aren’t so bad, they aren’t so huge, things could be worse, I have solutions, it will be ok.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how big or small something may seem, it doesn’t always matter if you have a solution, anxiety will present itself when your sympathetic nervous system has had enough. And what is stressful for you, for me, for Archie, Betty, or Jughead- doesn’t have to and won’t look the same. It doesn’t have to be life altering to deserve attention and your feelings or stressors don’t ever have to be justified. The fact is, you feel a certain way over a certain something. Don’t make yourself dizzy going in circles telling yourself your anxieties are silly, dumb, or stupid. It is ok to feel this way.
It is ok to feel anxious. It is ok to feel overwhelmed. It is ok to feel stressed.
It really is. Even if your friend has seemingly more on her plate, even if your mom tells you it was harder back in her day, even if the world tells you to “buck up, sunshine”. It is ok to feel those things. Give yourself permission to feel them, give them a seat at the table, know they won’t stay forever (even if your brain says otherwise, no swears otherwise), see them.
“I’m feeling anxious. It’s uncomfortable and that’s ok. This will pass.”
Getting to a place of sitting with discomfort has been my biggest life changing thing to grasp and also the hardest to obtain and retain. I slip, I stumble, I give in to the occasional hopelessness, panic fear. But that’s human and I can always get back up again as I tell myself it’s ok to feel anxious and it will pass. Sometimes I have to repeat it several times for it to stick, sometimes only once.
Take deep breaths. Know you aren’t alone. I see you. I’ve been there. I’m here right now. But I won’t be here forever, you won’t either. Just hold on, friend. Brighter days truly are ahead. Feel what you feel.
There is lots of help for anxiety and depression. I know it can be scary but if you need help, please do your best to make an appointment with your doctor or a licensed therapist. Making the appointment is the hardest part, but it’s worth it. T
here are also online resources out there if you are struggling and need help now. This is a great list of free resources for you: