For a little over a year now, I have been vocal about my struggle with anxiety and depression. I write about it. I talk about it. I reach out to people about it. Friends and family know all about it one way or another. I don’t always speak with them directly about anxiety and depression, but they may hear about it from another friend or read about it online.
With the holidays just coming to an end, I had to see a lot of my family and friends. I often wonder how do they view me now that they know I struggle with anxiety and depression?
Do they see me as a strong person who has survived? Or someone who is weak who succumbs to the pressure of life?
Do they think I’m fragile? They think they need to watch every word they say, or I may just break.
Do they think I need to just get over it? Or someone who is humanly dealing with life?
Do they see me as being brave or stupid?
Do they relate to me more now? Or do I feel more like a stranger?
Do they think it is all my fault? Or do they see it as a disease?
Maybe they will think it is just an excuse, rather than something that I can’t always control.
They could look at me with pity in their eyes, instead of pride.
Maybe now that’s the only way they see me – someone, who is anxious and depressed instead of that being just one small part of me.
Would I want to know how they view me? Someone as brave or weak. Would it help or hinder my recovery? Would I end up feeling more supportive or even more alone? Would it get me to stop sharing finally? Or would it matter?
Sometimes I look at people when I talk to them and try to figure it out. How does their face look when I talk? Are there any signs of how they view me?
I probably shouldn’t be concerned, and just keep doing my thing. But sometimes my mind wanders and just wonders how people view me now that they know.