Mental Health Awareness

I've been going back and forth on whether or not to post this post. If I'm being completely honest it's been sitting in my drafts for months now. But earlier last week there was a patient who came in the hospital that I really connected with. They reminded me of myself years ago. I shared this tidbit with the patient and it made a world of a different. I literally saw the tension in their shoulders ease and for the first time they smiled. That experience reminded me of one of the reasons why I made my blog a public one. It was so maybe just maybe this blog might make someone's life a little bit easier. Whether it's sharing what to wear to an interview, how to cook a healthy meal or, even how I deal with a mental illness. I wanted to take my writing hobby and put it to good use for myself and others. 

A little while back I received a comment on one of my posts about how I ‘do it all’. I was taken a bit back, because I honestly feel like I’m playing catch up 99% of the time. I know as a blogger I’m supposed to make my life seem aesthetically pleasing all the time and usually I do. But in reality it’s not. I'm almost always running late, I rehearse conversations in the mirror and, I'm pretty sure half my class in grad school thinks I'm an idiot. So I actually laughed when I read that comment because, some mornings I wake up and I feel like I’m already drowning.

My secret? I fake it. I smile and pretend I have my shit together. And I work my ass off. Whether it's figuring out the best concoction for my depression and anxiety, driving way over the speed limit to get to my second job on time, or staying up past 3am writing a blog post. I work hard. And that shouldn't be a secret. I've lived with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. Even when I didn't know what it was. I'd have panic attacks at eight years old and cry my eyes out at eleven at religion school. One of my most vivid memories as a kid was hyperventilating on the playground. 

Anxiety and depression are one of those invisible disorders. You can’t see it on the outside. The person can look completely put together and have their life in perfect harmony but, on the inside is a completely different story. Everyone’s experience with these disorders is different. Everyone experiences different symptoms. Everyone has different challenges. So just because you once knew someone with anxiety doesn’t mean you’ll know what the next person you meet with anxiety goes through. 

Does this hold me back? Sure, sometimes. I’ve had to take a semester off, end relationships, transfer schools, all because of my disorder. But over the years I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve learned to ask for help. I’ve learned that if I feel like I’m drowning, if I can’t sleep for 2hrs straight, if my body is shaking, if I’m always nauseous it’s time to take a step back and reprioritize and ask for help. Help can be a million different things. And there’s no right or wrong way. Some take medication, some go to therapy, and others practice skills to help them in sticky situations

Looks can be deceiving. And with today’s world of social media, that’s true more than ever. So while it seems like someone has it all, they probably don’t and are working really hard to have everything they do have. And with that, I'll bid you an adieu.