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Mental Health is Real

Mental health is a difficult topic, but I feel as though it’s a topic that needs to be discussed. There are many people in this world that struggle with mental health and I am one of them. For the last few years I have struggled with anxiety, but was in denial. I finally figured it out when I would tell friends/peers how certain things would make me feel and they couldn’t relate. I would be scared to go anywhere by myself. I would make my boyfriend go to the grocery store with me. I would be in panic mode while I pumped gas. If I was invited somewhere new I wouldn’t go because the thought of driving to a new place by myself terrified me. I would have thoughts that would make no sense or weren’t true but I’d believe it because the brain is such a powerful thing. I finally decided to contact my doctor and she put me on anxiety medicine. I’m not going to lie, the first few weeks were rough. I had every single side effect imaginable. I even called into work because I felt so miserable, and I’m a person who never calls in to work. I thought about quitting so many times but I knew I had to push through. I’m so glad I did because even though I had to keep upping my dosage to the highest, I feel so much better than I did a year and a half ago. I can go places by myself again. I expanded my horizons by venturing out and trying new things. Medicine isn't magic, obviously, but I feel more like myself than I have in years.

When the pandemic hit, that was a whole different situation. I was one of those people who were worried and were afraid to go out. Being locked in the house for months really took a toll on my mental health. It was the hardest time in my life. What started off being the pandemic’s fault ended up being my mental health’s fault. I was stuck between wanting to go out but also wanting to stay home. I would say yes to something but then cancel or make up some excuse because my mental health was so bad and it was easier to blame the pandemic. It felt like one of those movie moments where I had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. I hated constantly using the pandemic as an excuse but it seemed easier than saying “I’m struggling”. If you’re an independent person like me, you don’t want anyone to see you struggling or ask for help. When you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, you never want to look weak because those who don’t struggle won’t understand. They’ll say things like “you’re just being dramatic”, “anxiety is a myth”, “just get over it”, “it’s not that bad”, and the list goes on.

They say be kind to everyone because you never know what someone is going through and although it doesn’t get followed like it should, it’s so true. Someone who doesn’t struggle with things such as anxiety or depression, will never understand the underlying pain one goes through and how sometimes it’s hard for them to just get out of bed and interact with people.

I hope this post is a lesson:

  1. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone

  2. Be kind to everyone because you really don’t know what one is going through

  3. Never tell anyone their mental health is fake, because it’s as real as it gets

This post is very difficult for me to write, but I hope it helps someone out there. Like I said, you are not alone. I hope you get the help you need and have someone you can talk to. You can fight this, one step at a time.

Thanks for talking with me!

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