There's nothing glamorous about living with anxiety.
Just as there's nothing glamorous or rock'n'roll about admitting that exercise keeps me sane, or that staying in with a good book and a nice cup of tea beats almost every other option of 'fun things to do' for me, every time.
Daily, it makes me restless, unfocused. It keeps my head off the things I care about, unable to ask the appropriately supportive questions of the people I love, and buzzes through me.
I know it's a situation that many women live with in verging on epidemic proportions, and my heart both breaks and bleeds as it rises up and wants to fight - directly against this destructive energy inside of me, but also politically.
This feeling is a political thing, in the sense of a lived everyday politics, and I work to not silence it... For me, openly admitting to not coping with anxiety is both an act of self-healing, the first stage of getting better, and the beginnings of transformative practice.
Like writing the 'I' into writings like this - standing my ground and owning my feelings. Good and bad.
And I will not be squashed into the third person in a report on the systemic effects of mental illness' coincidence with womanhood. I will insist on my bodily leakages - tears, shakes, social phobias, sliding out into the world and being acknowledged.
Just as much as I won't pretend to be okay so that your day can be easier. Not anymore. Or squash down bad feeling, so that we can pretend that your offensive life decisions don't affect me or the world, and everyone can be 'fine'.
I spent 5 years when I was a teenager being 'fine'. It also coincided with a bereavement, and puberty. And for years I truly believed that that pain and deep-gut-sadness was a natural extension of the growing up process.
If people had talked openly about how these things operate, about how they function politically, about how everyday they are, I might have had a different experience of growing up. Part of me mourns for the young girl who didn't get that chance. And a huge part of me wants to be a part of making the world a place where no other girls will have to suffer in silence, without hope.
Which is why I get so intensely angry when communities of women don't reach out to each other, and check in, or acknowledge the very real physical effects of negative feeling, of depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately it also increases my anxiety levels.
The cycle continues.
Thank goddess for the ability to vent into the ether.