Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My Battle | Anxiety and Depression

Ever since I heard the news of Kate Spade's tragic and unexpected passing, I have been trying to digest and process the news. To hear of another life taken from mental illness just breaks my heart. I am heartbroken for her family and friends as they go through this time. I am heartbroken that this disease took the life of such an inspiration and bright light in this world. To Kate's friends and family, you all are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

I have been contemplating on how to react online ever since my phone started blowing up yesterday around 10:30 am. Now, here I am in my pajamas with my hair soaking wet writing this very personal blog post. Disclosure: I am in no way trying to take away from honoring Kate Spade or trying to make this horrific event all about me. I am just sharing my story with this horrible illness in hopes to help someone who feels alone.

Anxiety and depression has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It has been something that has grown as I have gotten older and also has shaped me into the person that I am today. My anxiety started when I was really young but my first memory of it would be when I was in first grade. First grade is when they first start teaching you how to read. I remember being extremely hesitant about this. I was nervous about having to read out-loud in fear that I would mess something up and my classmates would make fun of me. It is evident that my perfectionist tendencies started coming out around that age. I wanted to be right all the time and put my best foot forward. I wanted everyone to like me. I did not want anyone to make fun of me. This fear caused major health issues for my little 6 year old self. I started to have major stomach aches. The kind that all you want to do is lay on the floor and cry. I did not want to go to school. I remember going to see my pediatrician every single day because my stomach hurt that bad. It got so bad that they sent me to the children's hospital to get tests done and nothing came back. Eventually as my confidence arose, my stomach pains went away.

My anxiety was an issue every single year since then, but I could always control it. It wasn't until about seventh grade that it became unbearable. I remember having to call my parents to pick me up from school multiple times because of bullies. I was terrified to go to school. I did not want anyone to see me and I definitely did not want to be made fun of or bullied. I was then put on anxiety medication. I had severe anxiety and depression all throughout high school as well. It wasn't until college that it got extremely severe again. My first semester of college was an extremely hard time for me. The change scared me and I was terrified to be on my own. I could not sleep at night. Life just did not seem to be going right at all. I was sad all the time. I was scared all the time. I was sick all the time. Fast forward to this past semester, I started to have extreme migraines that were caused by my anxiety. I did not want to do anything. I could care less about school, about doing anything that I enjoyed. I had to force myself out of bed in the mornings and make myself get something done. I was in an extremely dark place.

One constant thing about all of these events,  I felt worthless. I was tired of life. I did not feel strong. I was sad. My family and friends pulled me out of some of the lowest points in my life.

I am sharing this with you all today to let you know that you are not alone. Anxiety and depression is not fair and is something that cannot be fixed in an instant. It is a crippling illness that follows you around everywhere you go. But, YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE A WARRIOR. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Mental illness is something that our society expects to be swept under the rug. It is something that those who are not affected do not understand. It is something that cripples and grinds you into the ground if kept a secret. I will be the first to admit, I have been ashamed of this disease. For the longest time, I thought that I was the only one who had this and that no one would understand what I was feeling. Man oh man was I wrong. I have been blessed with so many people in my life who understand what I am feeling and are there to help me. That being said, if any of you are feeling this please no that you are not alone. There are so many resources for mental illness. Reach out to someone and let them know if you are depressed. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to me. I am more than happy to help.

If this blog post helps one person, it will have served it's purpose. Thank you for reading.



1 comment: