It’s not a secret that I have generalized anxiety disorder. Actually, it’s the opposite of secret. I disclose my diagnosis all the time. New doctors, new friends, new coworkers, anyone with an internet connection. Anybody who is going to be around me for longer than one meeting. It’s because there are certain things I do, the ways that I manage my triggers, understanding where my mental fault lines are, that I want the people around me to know.

It’s not about making excuses; it’s about explaining what they will see me do. I’ll get my stuff done, I’ll be present in conversations, I’ll do my best, but I’ll also need some grace and accommodations sometimes. It’s not something I can outwork (tried that), out plan (tried that too), diet, medicate, or exercise away. Those things help (not the outworking, that’s a disaster), but sometimes they are not enough to overcome the chemical imbalance in my brain that causes my symptoms.

Because I have a medical condition.

It’s clearly off-putting to some people when I am frank about my mental health. I decided a long time ago that anyone who has a real issue with that is not someone I need to spend much time around.

Today, I am okay. Not “I will be ok if (a) or (b) things occur.” Just okay.

I’m okay! That is earthshakingly wonderful to me. Even keel is a remarkable place to be.

Published by Caroline Mitchell Carrico

I am a writer, mom, and museum enthusiast in Memphis. Also a fan of reading all the words, cooking all the vegetables, and watching all my kids' soccer games.

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