If you are a One Tree Hill fan, then you know the most infamous question that Owen, the bar manager, asked the one and only Brooke Davis.
It is a question that has plagued us all to this day. On the outside Brooke seemed to have it all together. Like me, Brooke had the appearance of a happy woman in her early 20s. However, what we did not know was that Brooke was unhappy and longing for something we all need, love. Brooke wanted to know that she had someone that truly loved her, whether it be a baby or a husband. Eventually, Brooke did get her wish and lived happily ever after, but not without some trouble along the way.
Well I, like Brooke, have been hiding a secret for many years, a secret that has finally caught up with me. I have extreme anxiety and moderate depression. These two mental illnesses have controlled my life since I was a little girl. I have been going to therapy for over five years now, but I have only now began to take medication for it. I have dealt with countless health issues over the past 5 years, but these two eat at me the most.
I am terrified, confused, and worried. Terrified on what the medicine might do to me, confused on why God put yet another burden on me, and worried if it will work.
I wonder what people will think of me and if they will treat me differently or not. I think about how this will affect my relationships with my friends, my family, and my boyfriend. Is this going to affect college or my jobs, and how am I supposed to deal with it all? All of this, and much more, plague my mind at each moment. As these past two weeks have come and gone, I realized that I do not need to worry, although I still do and likely will, and that I do not need to be afraid of anything.
I will start to feel normal and feel that I fit in. I will be happier and be calm. And as I am typing this, I realize that I am a strong and beautiful daughter of Christ and that I can do this. I will not let my anxiety take control of me any longer. I refuse to lay around and be unproductive with my life when there are so many out there who cannot do for themselves. I am not going to be defined by my anxiety and depression. I refuse to.
A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, so five must be 5,000. But the thing most people see in a picture are a face and clothes. No one can see what is underneath it all. No one can see the pain of an invisible disease or the heartache of a lost loved one. So, I ask the question that we have all be plagued with for nearly ten years, “What’s underneath all the clothes?”
I know what is underneath mine and it is time that I start to let the people who care about me in so that they can see for themselves. But what about you? Are you hiding a secret that you think is meaningless or small? Well, let me be the first to tell you that nothing you hold inside should control you. For anyone suffering with anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness, you are not alone.
You matter and are made to do great and amazing things. Do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You do not have to suffer alone and you do not have to let a mental illness define you.