One of the most difficult tasks for me is to relax my mind. In university, it would take me over 2hrs+ to fall asleep because I just couldn’t shut off my mind. I always used those moments before bed as “my time”. Similar to being in the showing, the moments before sleep were one of the very few guiltless times in the day when I could think about what ever I wanted. I am by no means advocating this because, trust me, this much thinking at once is unhealthy. When your thoughts are so numerous that you can’t fall asleep, you are not doing any favors for your mind or body.
Time for part 2 of my mental illness journey! Find Part 1 here. I lightly mentioned my life journey with anxiety previously, and this post is a further peak through that window.
Unlike depression, anxiety has been a companion for many years. I’m at a point now where I can no longer remember when my anxiety even began…that’s how integrated it is into my life.
PSA: I am sharing my journey for me. Admitting what has been happening is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I am still not at that level of admitting what’s happening to a lot of people I know. This is my first step forward. Mental health is serious and anyone struggling should always be treated with respect. If you aren’t sure if your words to someone in this situation are appropriate, always ask yourself “would I say this to someone who has a physical illness, like cancer?” Be respectful. Always. Plain and Simple.
My Story: There are two mental health issues that I have been living with – one has been a loyal companion for the better part of my life, while the other is a newer surprise. They are: anxiety and depression. While I accept all the challenges that anxiety has to offer, depression was something I was just not equipped to handle/comprehend.
I have had anxiety since middle school. Back then, it manifested slowly – the occasional nerves, clammy palms. By the time high school hit, it was my new permanent companion.
Has my anxiety kept me back from doing things in life? Yes, unfortunately. Do I wish this was the case? No. Will this always be this way? Absolutely….NOT.
I know I’m stronger than it! Bust I also know it might not be something that will ever vanish, and I’m okay with that. It has shaped me into the person I am today. But I want to be able to accept and work on controlling it. If I get anxious, then that’s okay. It will happen. I just have to tell myself: “If an anxiety attack happens, there’s nothing I can do about it in that moment. Take a breathe, keep going, and get through it. Maybe everything didn’t go as planned. Maybe it could have been better. But did I do it? Yes. And that’s progress.” It’s a constant mental battle to tell yourself to be stronger than well…yourself.