Overcoming Obstacles: Anxiety
by Jonna H.
My name is Jonna. I am a writer, photographer, union activist, cat mom, wife, and artist, and I suffer from debilitating anxiety.
There have been times when my anxiety has been so severe that I haven’t been able to get out of bed. Other times I’ve barely been able to function. I’ve been laughed at for it, shamed for it, and told to just get over it on many occasions.
I’m proud to report that today I’m doing great. Years of therapy, a combination of Eastern and Western medicine, a strong support system, and a drive to not let anxiety define me mean I am in control. When my anxiety pops up, I acknowledge its presence, recognize it is only a feeling, and look for ways to take my mind off of it — usually by engaging in a game or activity that takes a lot of brain power. Never am I afraid to ask for help when I need it. We all need help sometimes.
I’m sharing my story today because I want other women and girls who have anxiety to know that as uncomfortable as it might feel and terrible as it might be to go through, it isn’t a death sentence. I also want people to know that anxiety is a normal, natural, human experience and nothing to be ashamed of.
I used to see anxiety as my flaw or downfall, but the older I get, the more I’ve come to view it as the thing that makes me stronger. I see myself as a warrior and have so much respect for others who also suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. We are all stronger than we realize.
Jonna’s Twitter Bio: Photographer of kiddos, families, makers & their products. Union activist. Love Silver Spring, Nebraska, cats, tacos & Ernie Chambers. Photo also from Jonna’s Twitter.