Today’s topic is very close to me and so it’s going to be a serious and probably long blog post. Also on my blog is mental health awareness month, so this is part of mental health. So grab your snack and tea or coffee and lets get started.
When did I begin feeling like this?
Most people don’t know this but I have suffered or dealt with anxiety and depression. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for a few years. But I don’t tell people because it doesn’t run my life. It didn’t really start until I believe my freshman year of college. I had joined a sorority, I was taking classes at the time to be a social worker, which I’m not majoring in that anymore, but anyway…and I was just overwhelmed. I was involved in a lot of activities with my friends, and youth group and bible study, that I just couldn’t take anymore craziness in my life. But in my freshman year, I believe, my cousin died…he took his own life, and it was really scary for me that someone could do that. After a few weeks, it really hit me that I could not deal with this. For some reason I felt really sad, I started to withdraw from my friends and my grades just went down hill. So I talked to my academic advisors and they suggested I see the school therapist, which was awesome, because she really helped me sort my emotions out. Fast forward to a year later, I was still involved in a lot of activities, but I took more risks and did everything on my own terms. But then I had a boyfriend, which didn’t last long because well we didn’t…and then I had a serous boyfriend. It was going ok, but this guy also had anxiety and it really made me nervous. We ended up getting engaged but because of some personal things, we didn’t get married.
What it feels like and why people don’t understand:
Something happened, and I really just went into my first anxiety attack. Now an anxiety attack is horrible. You feel like you can’t breathe, you cry, you are scared, you feel like the world is just going to end and you don’t want to be in it anymore. The only thing that helped was to call my mom so that I could realize that it’s all ok. Now you might think, how could a girl who seemed to have everything together in her life, have anxiety and depression? I’m telling you, no matter who you are, you can have a disorder or mental issue that people don’t know about but you or you and your doctor. And you should never let others look down upon you or think different of you because you have this. Depression and anxiety, along with postpartum depression and other illnesses, I feel are looked down upon and are not being spoken about. People are afraid to admit that they have it because others think they are crazy. Something you have to understand and it’s something that I heard, is that no one is going to know you have it unless they see valuable information from a doctor or a prescription saying you have it. Like no one is going to know you have a broken leg unless you are wearing a cast. So depression has been a part of my life for a few years, and anxiety is just as bad. One thing about me, as I have gotten older is, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, meaning that I take everything to heart. I care so much about the people in my life, that once they betray that trust and hurt me, it just sends my emotions out of whack. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people are perfect, and I’m definitely not perfect, but I do put a lot of trust in the people in my life. So when my emotions get out of whack, I cry, I get really sad, I feel like I can’t eat or breathe or think, and I just feel powerless and that is not fun nor is it healthy. I was afraid to tell people for a long time because they don’t understand…even telling my husband is like useless because he doesn’t get it. I act like things are ok, I’m happy and all of that, but inside, if something is bothering me, it’s bothering me until I figure out how to piece it together and make sense of it and move on.
How I cope with anxiety and depression:
The way that I get through this, is I take it day by day. I write, I sing, I read, I spend time with family and the people that mean the most to me…and I tell myself…it’s ok. That saying up top, is what I say every time I’m having an anxiety attack or I feel depressed: “Breathe, Relax, this too shall pass.” It’s true. This will not last forever. Whatever you are feeling at this present moment will not last forever…it will pass…you just need to breathe and relax. Something that I did was I changed all of my backgrounds on my computer, my ipod and Ipad and phone to this: