Lets talk about it (part one)

Personally, I prefer bluntness when I communicate with others… having anxiety, beating around the bush just opens more room for overthinking. So I’ll get right to it.

I feel like one of the most overlooked parts of mental illness is how it continues to shape your life, even after you’ve — for lack of a better word- “fix” it. Many people think that maybe a medicine, or activity, maybe just going to therapy will solve your mental struggles. It is so much more than that. Once you begin to feel like maybe just MAYBE your mental illness doesn't control your life, it will always be a conscious decision not to give in to it over and over and over again. Since I was little, I’ve always loved learning and school. My at home life was beyond me at that time, not knowing or really caring about what was going on- when you’re little you can’t help but be oblivious. As I grew however, I started to become more observant about my school life, friends, and most importantly, my family. As far as I had ever known, my “at-home life” was normal. So what… parents fight, sometimes they hit things, sometimes they hit your siblings, they yell, take away your phone, your lights, your door. Isn’t it normal? for a parent to just- do parenting things? Now I know that many children have it worse- but I also know that it doesn't invalidate my past experiences, feelings, or trauma. As a pre-teen, my eyes were suddenly aware of the toxicity of my household and how it was affecting me. In my eyes, this is where the anxiety truly began to start.

When you’re predisposed for anxiety, depression, and other mental issues, it almost seems inevitable that you’ll end up with at least one of them. Through eighth grade I was over-eating, stressed constantly, and I could never sleep. Despite having people to talk to, whether it was my mom or a teacher from school, I was never the type of person to “burden” others by asking for help. Looking back, I know that that mindset is honestly what made it so difficult to recover. All I saw was how I would worry them, scare them, make them sad… so I struggled on my own. I figured, I'm a strong girl, all A’s, 4.0 GPA, I’ll be fine. I didn't realize that my inability to ask for help would have the affect that it did later on in my life.

Growing older and more mature, I learned to live with my anxiety. I was solely focused on “surviving” every day. I would come home to isolate and cry myself to sleep within the solitude of my dark and lonely room. There were many days throughout my high school experience when I had to soften the sound of my sobs with a pillow and physically force myself to take it all on alone. I yearned for anyone who might care enough to ask if I was okay, but being the “perfect girl” that I was- I was always “just fine”.

From this day, looking into my past, I'm proud of what I have overcome. But that doesn't mean it was easy. I never asked for help- not once. Quite frankly, its not much easier for me to ask for help now, even though my mental situation as improved. My mindset and through processes are healthier now than they were before- but like i said earlier- every second of every day, you make a decision. Do I want to give in? or keep fighting?

Lets talk about mental health