‘Some days I feel fantastic. That’s the part of me most people know. Then there are the days where I retreat. Where I spend hours alone. Where my thoughts get dark.’

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“High functioning anxiety. It’s a funny little trendy term I’ve read about in articles lately. I have it of course. Many people that know me in person have been shocked to find out I have anxiety at all.

I am scared a lot. I’m scared right now. But, not of things you’d think I would be scared of. Dumb things. Ridiculous things. Things ‘normal’ people don’t even give a second thought to. I have a phobia that I think I have control over until I don’t.

I worry incessantly. I have obsessive thoughts thanks to my OCD. I try to stop my brain from thinking so much by listening to podcasts while I do menial tasks that will let my mind wander. Because the truth is, I don’t want my mind to wander.

I want to be mindful. I want to meditate. I want to be positive. I want to read quotes that inspire me to do better and be better and achieve more.

In theory, I’m sure meditating would help me. I have no doubt it would in fact.

But sometimes do you feel like there are too many things to fight on any given day that you don’t have the energy to fight with your own mind? I feel that way.

Some days I feel fantastic. I’m productive. I am happy. I go to lunch with friends and feel extroverted. Things go smoothly. That’s the part of me that most people know.

Then there are the days where I retreat. Where I spend hours alone and it doesn’t feel like enough. Where my thoughts get dark, and depression creeps in. I panic about my children when they’re just fine. I wake up unable to fall asleep because of my own thoughts. I replay conversations that were over weeks ago.

Because, my mind again. It’s fighting with me. I want to just ignore it, but you can’t ignore your thoughts so easily. That’s why I fill mine with dumb stuff like cat videos and crime podcasts.

I’ve gotten help with all of these things. I take medication. I have been to therapy. I HAVE gotten better. But there are still days where I fight with my mind and feel like the loser.

I’m sharing this not for pity, but as an example of the hard things that we all face at some point. Maybe your thing isn’t my thing, but we all have a ‘thing’ we’re battling, don’t we?

That’s why I wanted to share what it’s like to have a problem that isn’t really fixable.

I could meditate yes. I exercise, and it DOES help. I could, I should, if only I would….

But, the truth is, some problems aren’t solved. Some are with us for life. The battles we fight leave scars. The wounds we’re licking are often in private, or not tangible, and no one knows that we even HAVE wounds.

We can’t always fix it. That’s OK. We fight it when we have the energy. And, we sit with it when we don’t.

It’s not wallowing in misery, it’s living.

Congrats on living today. Keep living tomorrow. You’re needed. Just as you are.”

Mother with high functioning anxiety holds up phone in mirror selfie
Meredith Ethington

This story was written by Meredith Ethington of Perfection Pending. Check out her book; Mom life Perfection Pending. The article originally appeared here. Follow Meredith on Instagram here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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