10 years. I’ve been living with depression and anxiety for 10 years. I was diagnosed in high school and back then I had no idea what it meant.
Since 2016 I’ve been living with more anxiety than anything else. Debilitating anxiety unlike anything I had experienced before. When my family doctor told me, he was going to refer me to a psychiatrist because they would be able to help me more than he could anymore, I didn’t know what to say. I was scared and overwhelmed. But looking back now it was the best decision.
Since 2016, I’ve gone through too many medication changes to count. Trying to find the right medication that doesn’t leave you with too many side effects and finding out the correct dosage that doesn’t leave you walking around like a zombie. It’s a delicate dance that can leave you exhausted and without hope. Withdrawal is something I never imagined I’d go through. It sucks. A lot. It’s one of the worst things I’ve had to put my body through.
2020…here I am. 27 years old and holding down a full-time job is hard for me. You see I don’t have the powers to magically turn my anxiety on and off. There is no switch. I live with different amounts of anxiety every day. Ranging from very little to so much anxiety I can’t leave the house. Some people who have never experienced anxiety don’t understand that. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. What I do wish for is more people to be understanding and show compassion. Living with a mental illness can be lonely. It makes you think you’re alone and no one understands. But I promise someone out there does understand. I wish I could take away the pain, suffering, stigmas, and self-doubt one can feel with a mental illness. But unfortunately, I can’t. What I can do though is talk, advocate and push for action.
I’ve seen too many beautiful souls gone too soon because they lost their battle with their personal demons. Someone lost their battle very recently and it has shaken me to my core.
I’ve felt that pain, I’ve seen that pain. I’ve seen someone pull their loved one out of that darkness. I’ve seen what it’s like for someone to take that step and ask for help. I’ve seen what it’s like to love someone who is suffering.
Bell Let’s Talk day is here. Raising awareness and funds for mental health initiatives in Canada. I just wish it was an everyday thing. That people should feel comfortable enough to share openly all the time and not be afraid of what reactions they will get. Just because someone looks like they have it all together, doesn’t mean they do. On my bad days I wish my anxiety was visible so people would see it and believe me, because some people have a problem believing something they can’t see.
I want everyone reading this to know that they aren’t alone. No matter how dark the tunnel is, no matter what the voice inside them says, there are better days ahead. There is someone who loves you unconditionally.
Be kind, be compassionate, be understanding.
Listen when someone reaches out.
Reach out when you need someone to talk too.
It’s not an easy battle but one we can fight together.
If you need me I’ll be out here conquering mind madness.