My Mental Health Journey exchanging fear for future. How I sought help for my depression and anxiety, and you can too.
– Shared for the first time on Instagram on January 28th, 2021 –
This is the first time I’ve posted about this on social media. I’ve shared a lot about my life over the last year. A lot of things that I typically wouldn’t even share with my closest of friends, because I wouldn’t have known how but I haven’t shared much on Mental Health.
Back in my Instagram history, I shared a post about what it is like to face social anxiety in social settings. As a reminder, I wrote that someone told me it’s as though you’re in your own bubble and the second someone speaks to you, all the air in your bubble is sucked out and you can’t breathe. It makes you feel like everyone is watching you, nervous about meeting new people, scared to ask people things or get to know them. It means staying quiet instead of asking for something you need. Yeah, that’s pretty much what social anxiety feels like for me except, I don’t just have social anxiety.
I write this today for those who know me and those who don’t. Mental Health shouldn’t be a secret.
Until 3 months ago I wouldn’t even share with my doctor what I was feeling or thinking or the nights that I spent crying myself to sleep quietly with this feeling of not being good enough, being alone and not knowing how to stop myself from feeling so low. Feeling like anything wasn’t worth the effort. Feeling like people would never like me so, there was no reason to try. Feeling like guilty for not doing something or for someone changing their plans to accommodate you. Feeling guilty for not being there for people.
Moments of happiness and joy always fleeting, insecurely asking my partner to remind me they do love me because I need help out of the cycle of thinking that they don’t. Feeling like a shell of who I once was and then wondering when the hell it was you ever really felt like yourself. Then I realized I couldn’t actually tell you when it happened or how it got to this point. It happened slowly.
I’ve said this a thousand times but death changes people. Trauma usually does. There becomes a split in your timeline, a division known as before the death and after the death. Before felt normal, happy, free, social. Death came with grief and what I thought was just grief became new parts of me.
I lived with these new parts of me for years until I finally figured out that I could speak my truth about my life and my thoughts and help just one person to know that trauma sucks but life is beautiful still. That the feeling of pain daily afterwards passes, it gets smaller and doesn’t hit as hard and doesn’t hit you every day. The first day I didn’t cry I felt like I didn’t love her anymore. I lived with that feeling of guilt for weeks before I learned that I didn’t have to cry to have loved her.
So 3 months ago, I went online to @GetMaple and I finally spoke to someone. I ended up with the most wonderful Dr. From Vancouver and he had me complete some tests for him. I scored with a slightly above average on anxiety but I scored severely in Depression. I knew right then that what I had been dealing with and considered parts of who I was weren’t/ isn’t the truth of me.
So meet my friends in the pictures above… This journey or any journey is never easy but it’s my story. It’s where I’ve been and I’m still designing and creating where I’m going. I can’t wait to truly get to know the people I’ve met over the last few years but please be patient with me as I learn who I am too.
Somewhere in here is the abundantly happy, silly and free version of myself that I used to know. The one who would and could talk to anyone about anything. The one who made friends and the one who was never home and never alone. The one who was always doing something. She’s coming back to me slowly, so if I reach out to you, I hope you’ll be kind and I hope you’ll be patient and I hope you’ll understand, if not for me but for someone else battle that we don’t know about. I’ve loved every one of you. Each of you is unique and one day, I’ll show you just how magically you really are.
Today is #BellLetsTalk day and for the first time, I’m not afraid to share and say that I struggle with Mental Health each and every day. You may not have known from the smiles in my pictures and happy greetings and that’s okay. It just really shows how much of a highlight reel social media is and what happens behind the scenes is real and raw. So, can I be real and raw with you? Are you a safe space? 💕✨