I went to my dentist appointment recently. I’ve seen him ever since I was thirteen and a freshman in high school, and now at 17 and a freshman in college, it’s safe to say that he knows me very well. Very well. In fact, he was the first person I told that I had anxiety. A few weeks back during a visit, while changing my bands, he placed a hand on my shoulder and said, “I know we talk about me a lot. But I noticed that you aren’t very anxious. Can I ask, how is your anxiety lately?” I responded and told him I hadn’t had an anxiety attack in a little over a year. To which he brought his face a bit closer and in a very serious voice said, “I am very proud of you. Most of my patients are well into their fifties and haven’t mastered their anxiety the way you have. I am very proud of you, congratulations. Now, are we going with pink or blue bands?”
I can still hear his voice and think of how I wanted to cry because he was the first person to recognize a change. My own dentist congratulated me on mastering my anxiety without me having to tell him. He noticed. So to those who have gone unnoticed, I want to tell you how extremely proud I am of you.
If you beat your depression on your own, like I did, or even had the help of friends/family, I am proud of you. I wish you nothing but happiness because I know that you deserve it. You may feel like you don’t deserve to be happy, but you do, reader, you truly do. And it is so incredibly important that you constantly remember it. You deserve happiness and I am so proud of you for beating your depression. Look at you! You go!
If you beat your anxiety/panic attacks, I am so proud of you. There is nothing worse than the constant fear and feeling of the dreadful anxiety and panic attacks. To beat something like that, I mean, wow! Congratulations! You probably thought this thing would control you for the rest of your life, but guess what? You beat it. You sure did and I am so proud of you because you deserve it. Rock on!
If you were in the closet and found the courage to come out, oh honey, I am sending you the biggest virtual hug with a pat on the back. I am beyond happy for you because that is such an incredibly hard thing to do, especially with the type of society we live in where it is constantly looked down on and much worse to be LGBT+. So if you came out, I am so proud of you because you stepped out of the darkness and came into the light. I wish you nothing but happiness, whether you are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, asexual, etc. You are so strong and brave and I am completely proud of you.
If you got the job you wanted or got cast in a musical or play, school or broadway, I am proud of you! You probably thought that you wouldn’t get it, but you did and for that, I am proud of you. I’ll hop on a plane or a train to come visit you at work or be front row watching you make that stage yours. Also if you made your school’s sports team, I’ll cheer with poms poms too, I am proud of you! Dunk on them, give them the best touchdown, the best goal, the best toe touch, the best kickline. Be the best you can be because you are amazing!
If you found the courage to leave an abusive partner or an abusive or a toxic friendship, you are strong. You and wonderful. I am unbelievably proud of you. To leave something or someone that put you down and beat you in so many ways, you deserve nothing but utter happiness. You truly do. I am so proud of you and I know you will do better and find better. You are extremely strong and I wish you nothing but love, you beautiful soul.
If you stopped self-harming, whether it was a day or a year that you have been clean, I want to hug you so hard. That is such a tough, tough, tough thing to do. But you did! Look at you! You did that! Wow! Things you did? That! It is so damn wonderful to be clean. And I know how hard it must be to throw the blades away, but you did. You did that and you’re clean and I know that you will continue to be clean. If you fall off the horse, just remember to get back on because I love you and you can do this. You can.
If you found your voice and got to speak up about a sexual assault you went through, I am extremely proud of you. You suffered through pain by keeping your secret because you were afraid. But you spoke up. And it’s okay if you’re not ready to, that’s okay. Just know that I love you and I am rooting for you one hundred and ten percent. I am proud of you.
To everyone who thought they couldn’t but did, I am proud of you. There is nothing more beautiful than a smile that has suffered through tears and pain. To everyone who suffered and no longer does or will, I am so incredibly damn proud of you. You deserve nothing but joy and happiness and for that, I want to hug you all. Beating something that once defined you is such a proud moment. To everyone who did and to everyone who is still trying, continue. Continue winning. I am proud.
Four for you Glenn Coco, you go Glenn Coco!