I’m sitting here staring at my computer screen, trying to figure out how to untangle the thoughts I have. I feel like I have so much to say but where do I start? Do I start with something I’ve been struggling with for months, something I love that seems to now be too much for me to handle? Or do I talk about the fact that my mental health has improved so much since I’ve taken a leave from school? Do I talk about how most of the time I get frustrated with myself and then my anxiety comes out as anger? Do I share with whoever reads this that there is still such a stigma around mental illness with people my age and younger? What on earth could I possibly talk about that someone wanted to listen to…here goes nothing…
Nobody can get more annoyed at my illness than myself. I know my anxiety can be difficult for others to understand, some days it’s hard for me to understand. It can even come across as annoying, when someone asks me a question and I don’t have an answer. All I have to say is “I don’t know”. Believe me when I say that I generally don’t know. Indecisiveness can lead me to tears and complete meltdowns. There is a war inside my head on what I should do, shouldn’t do, could do, couldn’t do. On my bad days that war inside my head is so loud, it comes to the point that I have to ask someone, usually my mom, for help on deciding what to do. “Should I shower?” “What should I wear?” “Leggings or Jeans?” the list goes on and on. I realize that what my anxiety causes me to do can come across as weird or strange but I find it makes things easier if people straight up ask me about it instead of assuming.
The month of January was a tough go. It felt like I had lost everything that I had planned for myself. Everything I knew was gone and that left me thinking who was I? The only thing left for me to do was some soul searching. I had to get back to being me and putting myself first. It may sound nice to have a “fresh start” but this soul searching has made me question everything. What I want to do with my life, where do I want to go, who do I want in my life and who I want to be.
The unknown is scary. I hate it because I can’t plan for it. My anxiety makes me want to plan for every possible outcome. So, I’m taking it day by day, even hour by hour when I have to. I’m a fighter who wants to be an example for someone suffering. Your entire world can get flipped, and you don’t know which way is up. It can feel like the pain won’t stop or that there is no way up.
But I’m proof there is.
I’ve been living with anxiety and depression for 10 years now. I get the struggle and the pain. I know what it’s like to feel numb to the outside world. I’ve cried in too many bathrooms to even count. I’ve done the dance with medication and trying to figuring out what works for me, the right dosage, the correct time of day to take them. I’ve been there, done that. And it can be an emotional and physical roller coaster, but for me it was worth it, because I got the right combination. I tried to go without medication, years ago but I learned that it is better for me to be on them. I know what it’s like to want to scream at the top of your lungs because you are so exhausted of having to explain yourself to someone else. I know what it’s like to want to sleep the day away. I know what it’s like to feel alone in a room full of people.
So, here I am, with no real plan on what is next for me. GUESS WHAT that’s okay! I’m trying my best to listen to myself and truly do what is best for me. Will I go back to university? I’m not sure. I just know that I’m on this journey of soul searching to find what makes my heart full and happy. If I can do it, so can you.