I was sort of surprised that an NFL player was so open and honest about his anxiety. Brandon Brooks’ post is so powerful to me.
My anxiety was to the level that I almost had to drop out of undergrad. I never threw up daily but I had near daily panic attacks that depleted my energy. To see someone that is so in the public eye doing one of the most masculine things ever be so authentic was truly humbling and endearing. I thought wow. And I thought I really pushed myself back then … he vomits daily and still does what he does. I do have to wonder about how he is able to not be ashamed. I’m still working on that even though my anxiety has lessened over time, it still flares up pretty badly, but usually only a few times a year.
It’s hard for me to come to grips with the fact that there are actually some things about myself that I can’t always control: like how my body sometimes automatically responds with anxiety and thus makes it difficult for me to function. It can feel like a constant fight every day. My chest hurting and other unpleasant things I am usually able to push through and ignore by now, but I relate to Brooks in that sometimes I am just unable to bring myself back and I hate that. Sigh. I often think about all the things I could do or could have done much better if I didn’t have such debilitating anxiety at times. It’s just super helpful to have someone in the public eye open up about that … so people can hopefully become more aware and accepting. That if I can’t do something because of my anxiety, it’s likely not because I don’t want to be able to do it— I just can’t calm myself down enough in that moment to think straight.