Anxiety does a lot of strange things to us. It can make you hot, cold, sick, light headed, it can make you short of breath, make you shake, and it can consume everything that you once was, and lock you into a life you can’t stand.
For me, it did all of these things and so much more, most of which were and are awful to experience. It stops you goin places, doing things, eating out, seeing friends and many other things. But for me, it’s been so much more.
When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression (the latter I disagree with) I became a minority. A minority riddled with prejudice, judgement and ridicule, something of which I’m so passionate to eradicate. But by becoming a minority, it’s opened my mind to so many more. When I look at myself in a mirror, I don’t see an anxiety sufferer, I don’t see someone depressed, or someone who can’t go to the supermarket, who gets scared in a lift. I see me, looking back with the same eyes I had prior to my anxiety.
This got me thinking about other minorities, be it racial, based on sexuality, physical appearance or different beliefs. If I stare in a mirror and see me staring back, why should other people with their own feelings/views or appearance be judged by anyone, especially me. I was never judgemental, I try to accept people’s journey for what it is, they make their own decisions, they go down their own relevant path and its their choice. Someone on my Twitter who shall remain nameless (although they’re quite well known…) recently decided to tell the world he was actually a she. She was a woman in a mans body. I don’t know the technical terminology but that’s the jist. Years ago, I’d have looked at somebody in their situation with negativity and ignorance. Yet today, having experienced the same look from so many people, it’s allowed me to look at her and people in other communities in a completely different light.
Yes, people are gay, bi, lesbian, trans, black, white, Asian, disabled. There are so many different kinds of stories, lives and people that we can be so ignorent towards. But one thing I did learn, is that minorities should stick together and help each other. So although anxiety has taken over my life, made my life a living hell at times, and controlled my whole persona I definitely have something to thank it for. I became tolerant, understanding and honest.