By Brittani Shank
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. The way it’s looked has changed throughout the years, but the concept has stayed the same. Socially, I can be a little awkward. I try to put myself out there too much and pay for it by constantly feeling embarrassed, even if I don’t have a single thing to be embarrassed about. I am always concerned about what others think of me, which manifests itself in trying my hardest to impress others and I really just end up wearing myself out. My anxiety causes me to second guess almost every decision I make and my depression often forces me into this space that feels unsure and inconsistent.
I think more often than not, I look back on a week or a month and am so amazed that I walked out of it alive and with all of my hair and limbs. (Kidding on the limbs, not on the hair). I always see there as being something big that happened that I learned from or something different that happened that I’m confused by, and my life is just a constant “What the heck?”
DISCLAIMER: My life is also great. I have a wonderful partner who loves me, a supportive family, and a job that I can rely on. I don’t have much to worry about, but that sure doesn’t stop me from worrying.
But man, has this past month been one for the books. My partner and I have been having car problems, we’ve been stressing over finding a new place to live when our lease is up, and her 17 year old brother that lives with us just adds a whole new dimension to our lives. He’s been with us since last June, but we are still learning something new every single day.
Just the other night, I got a phone call from Holly while I was in a class I’m doing for CASA, which, for those of you who don’t know, stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate and is a volunteer program where you are matched with children and juveniles in the court system who (more often than not) have been removed from their homes for one reason or another. I wasn’t able to answer, so I quickly sent her a text asking if she was okay. She had been walking from the soccer field where she was working to the car and just wanted someone to talk to since it was dark. My anxiety started to diminish, but shortly after, my watch buzzed and I saw a text come through from her that said “I don’t want you to worry, but I’m pretty sure I was being followed”.
ME NOT WORRY!? Y’all. We’ve been together for just over a year and a half, and she of all people knows that telling me not to worry does approximately nothing to help with my worrying. If anything, it causes me to worry more! But that’s beside the point.
She picked me up shortly after from my class and we headed home. She was frenzied and anxious and I was doing what I could to help. In the midst of it all, we also discovered that our screen door at our house had come completely unhinged and the glass had shattered. Initially we believed that someone had intentionally done it, due to the fact that our door handle also was a little separated from where it connects. The police department thought it was nothing though, so they filed a report and told us to let them know if we noticed anything else.
I’m over the moon thankful for the law enforcement that protects Riley County and the people who live here. They’re intentional, they care, and they don’t think you’re silly for calling them for something like a screen door breaking.
And I see myself transform a lot in the way I learn from the things that happen to me. I learn how to trust those who I wouldn’t typically trust as much. I learn that sometimes things aren’t as bad as they may come off to be. And I learn how much I’m loved by the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with.