I have created this blog to talk about my struggles with stress and anxiety in my daily life and how I have learned to cope with my thoughts and feelings. Also, to bring awareness to mental health, something so many people struggle with and have no where or no one to turn to.
Anxiety is such a sensitive topic for some people. Most say that it is, “all in your head” or tell you to “get over it”. For some it is a part of who they are. It is not something that they want or need. It is just something that they have learned to deal with. I didn’t think that anxiety would really ever take a toll on my life but it did. A few months ago I was writing in my journal about my anxiety and trying to figure out where it all started. When did this start? Have I always been like this? Why is it becoming such a part of my life right now?
I remember when I was about 8 years old I was going on a camping trip with my best friend since pre-school and her mom. Which I had done MANY times. We had been friends since pre-school so it wasn’t like I was with strangers, we basically spent every day together. We got to the camp site, set up all of our stuff, hung out, ate dinner, ran around and had fun. For some reason, I talked myself into a major panic attack and freaked out and I had to call my mom to come pick me up. Looking back on it and knowing what I know now, it was the fear of the unknown and being in a new place and scared me the most.
I had no other issues after that until my senior year in high school.. I dated a guy at the end of my senior year and what started out as a fun new relationship, turned out to be a life changing experience that I never want to go through again. He lied to me and dated some girl behind my back for the first month or so we started. You would think that would’ve been a MAJOR red flag but no I was stupid enough to stick around because I thought he could “change”. Truth is the never change. One night, I went for a drive with one of my friends just to get out of the house. As we were pulling down the street I see his car parked with his lights off at the end of my street. I told my friend to keep driving because I didn’t want to deal with him. He ended up following us and stopping us. He yelled at me to get out of the car, I got out of the car and told my friend to call my mom because I was so scared. He began to scream at me and throw pictures of us at me. He was angry he hit the side of his door and smashed it into pieces. He yelled at me for another 30 minutes or what felt like 30 minutes. I got in my car and drove home. As I rush in the house in a full-blown panic attack with tears rolling down my face because I was so afraid of what had just happened, my dad ran outside to wait for him. I remember sitting on my floor in my room bawling my eyes out and hearing his car pass by my house – insert panic attack #2 of the night.
From that night forward I lived in constant fear. He knew where I lived. Where I worked. Where I went to school. Where my best friend lived. There was no escaping him. I couldn’t go to certain stores or restaurants because I was afraid of running into him. I quit trying to finish school to get my dream job because he started doing it. I cried, I cried A LOT. I basically gave up. I didn’t do things that involved me going places. But I ran. I ran my heart out. I ran because that was my only escape that was the only thing that kept me sane. Granted, I was in the best shape of my life but that is besides the point. I wanted to just give on living because I couldn’t do anything without being afraid. My life stayed like that for almost a year when I finally picked myself up and said “Pull yourself together. Do you really want to be like this forever?”
Fast forward four years, I am no longer afraid to leave my house. I am no longer afraid of being alone. Every now and then I get this sudden sense of fear but it passes. I still live with anxiety but have learned to deal with it. I have learned that it is okay not to be okay. You don’t have to have everything put together ALL OF THE TIME. You are perfectly fine the way you are.
There are so many people out there who do not know what to do and don’t know how to handle the struggles on anxiety on their own. I truly hope that someone reads this and understands that they aren’t alone, that there are so many people out there who are just as afraid. Being mentally strong is such an amazing feeling, a feeling that I hope everyone gets to feel.