That little monster

Imagine the feeling of not being able to sleep, your head is in over drive all the time and you feel like you are suffocating even tho you're totally fine.

That's the constant feeling for someone who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Now, I've been wanting to write a raw piece like this for a while, but have been terribly nervous about actually pushing the Save & Publish button.

As most of you all know, I struggle with a never ending battle with anxiety. That little monster that is always there testing my confidence and social skills. When out in public, I totally look fine, but deep down my heart is racing as fast as one of those race horses out on the track.

It's hard to explain to people the struggles of mental health, because it's not physical. Sure you can see a broken leg, or you can see someone undergoing chemotherapy, but you can't see anxiety. And for people that don't struggle with mental health, it's almost impossible for them to understand what it's truly like to have to live with it.

And yet, so many people are like me, struggling with mental illness, and are too scared to open up about it because as soon as you do you get comments like:

'' Oh I struggle with it too''

''Just calm down, relax dude. ''

''It's not the end of the world.''

And the list goes on.

The best description I can tell you is imagine waking up in the morning and you already had 10 cups of coffee in your body. You look at the time and you freak out a little because you feel as if the day is going by too fast. In reality it's only 6am. You either decide to stay in bed all day looking out the window feeling overwhelmed by life - or you try to go out and feel as if everyone is judging you. It's now 4pm, and you're mind races even faster because-  oh my god it's almost the end of the day, I need to focus on getting ready for bed and making dinner etc.

Bed time arrives and you can't fall asleep - or you sleep for over 9hours straight.

I am not trying to rant on anything, I am simply trying the shed light on those who are scared to admit what they have been going through. If I can help others understand the reality of dealing with anxiety, then the world will be a little more peaceful and others will feel a lot more confident in opening up.

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With my wedding coming up, my anxiety has gravitated to a whole new level. Worrying about all the little things and also working on my photography and career. These past couple of weeks have been work, bed , work , bed.

After being stuck mostly at home dealing with stress and that little monster that clearly will never leave me alone, yesterday I decided to force myself out of bed at 4am to head up north with my camera and search for some deer.

I was parked and just started staring out in the dense fog. All of a sudden two beautiful deer start walking towards my car. I was amazed.

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I slowly got my camera ready and quietly got out of the car. I spent about 30 minutes to an hour with them sitting, in the grass watching them enjoy apples that fell from the trees. I felt as if my anxiety suddenly detached and walked away to give me a moment to breathe.

Once the deer started moving away, I hopped back into my car and drove around until I found two mama deer and their fawns grazing on front of a property. I Slowly got out and took time to watch them live, carefree about life.

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For me, when I struggle with anxiety attacks, it's important to push myself to get out of the house. I haven't touched my camera in a while, and I knew that I had to go out in nature and bring my camera to do what I love the most in the world: photography.

It's important for people who struggle with mental illness to find a passion that will help disconnect them with their day to day struggles. That's why I am trying to turn my passion into a career so that everyday I get to feel a little more free from my troubled mind.

It's also important to never give up on your passion, even if it can be hard at times. Because at the end of the day, that's what helps you feel better and more confident.

I hope this helped a few people out there, sometimes it feels good to know we are not alone. And always remember that you are loved and you are important.

Alex

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