Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults, or 18 [percent] of the population. However, only about a third of sufferers ever seek treatment.
Though many efforts have been made in recent years to break the stigma surrounding mental health, our society still has a long way to go.
With pastors readily telling us to pray it away, doctors perceiving us as drug seekers, our families telling us it’s “all in our heads,” and the public calling us crazy… it’s no wonder the stigma has remained.
Anxiety is a monster eating millions alive from the inside out, forcing people to implode with overwhelming amounts of fear-mongering thoughts.
But speaker and spoken word artist Clayton Jennings is refusing to keep his anxiety bottled up any longer.
In a riveting video entitled “Dear Anxiety,” Jennings captures the crippling, debilitating feelings that consume those struggling with this soul-sucker devised by Satan to keep its victims slaves to fear and their down-spiraling thoughts.
“Opening up like this is a moment far from my proudest,” proclaims Jennings with raw vulnerability. “But these demons keep pressing me; I swear they’re the foulest. But I’ve grown comfortable with their presence. My conscience is calloused. My dreams are their playground, my thoughts are their palace…
“I remember that house I grew up in and how those demons would rattle that place. I’d lay awake at night just staring at the ceiling. I’ve spent my whole life trying to run from that feeling, that feeling of being lonely, that feeling of being lost, that feeling of being sick when the lights turn off, that feeling of being depressed, that feeling of being anxious, that feeling of screaming to God begging him to take this — only to get silence in return.”
Unlike the many Christian-cliché messages offered about the unforgiving beast that is anxiety, Jennings bears the ugly truth in all its glory, and it’s a must-watch for anyone who’s ever felt alone in their struggle.
Listen to Clayton Jenning’s powerful spoken word in full below:
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