Soooo I don’t usually do this, and I’m not totally sure why I’m feeling compelled or called to write this out so publicly, but I’m just going to trust this. Here. goes. N o t h i n’.
Disclaimer: Trigger warning: Depression, anxiety,
So May is Mental Health awareness month. I know a lot of people hop on social media and make a post about whichever topic they’re bringing awareness that correlates with that month’s thing or week, in either an in depth way or in a touch and go kinda way, OR somewhere in between.
I’m not quite sure where this is going so I’m not even going to try and name where mine falls on this spectrum.
I will however, share a little bit of my experience with you all.
I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and major anxiety when I was 18 years old.
I was a collegiate student-athlete, which college years were supposed to be such a big chapter in life, but I honestly had no idea what was in store and how much I would grow.
I was a total mess internally but just looking at me in class or in the cafeteria, in the library or the dorm, no one could really tell.
Mental health doesn’t have one face or one picture to measure the wellness of someone. It impacts everyone differently.
There were certain and select people who knew my situation because I shared it with them (shoutout to my mom and my therapist for encouraging me to let people know) and they could see the symptoms and how it impacted me, because I vocalized what I was going through. Had they not known, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell for a while.
I was so numb and only a meek, dull fraction of who I was. I was also so desperately trying to get back to feeling like myself, rejecting what I was going through because I was tired of waking up and feeling that way every single day. I was getting more and more removed from my own essence. Trying to avoid OR fill a void that was so dense, dark and deep. I was so afraid that it would consume me whole.
I had a support system, I had my family, my friends, my sport (volleyball), my teammates and a therapist I had just met but was going to get to know me really well + who would help guide me.
I wasn’t sure where recovery would lead me, or what it would do, but it’s definitely changed my life. It’s not easy, not at all. But it is SO WORTH IT.
And let me tell you, it has been a freaking J O U R – N E Y Y Y Y! I will also disclaim that I am in no way totally fully 100% healed and recovered and totally fine and positive vibes only-
It doesn’t work like that, I’ll reference back the first sentence of this paragraph about this mental wellness thang being a journey and the biggest most powerful thing I will tell you in my experience is DO NOT STOP BELIEVING. Even if you don’t believe in something, FIND something to believe in to get you through- especially through those dark dark days, the days we don’t tell anyone about, not even our therapist.
It could be a song, a mantra, your faith, a pet, art, music, movement, a compliment someone gave you one day, nature, a big tree, a little caterpillar inching along a leaf- whatever just SOMETHING.
I just realized the pun I made there in the above paragraph- HA! So cliche but sosososososososoooooooo freakin’ true.
Something that resonated with me and helped me through was my sport- it kept me in my body, my support system as I mentioned and a quote I had found at the time.
“God (universe, higher power, source whatever floats your boat) gives his biggest battles to his strongest soldiers.”
Now I don’t say that to be in a “Oh look at me, I’m so special and unique and strong…blahblahblah” way.
It was a quote that gave me some sort of solace that there was something bigger at play, that there was MEANING underlying this suffering and I had no idea what the heck it was but the only way I was going to find out, was if I hung around long enough to do so. And that curiosity helped me so much.
So that’s it, that’s my post. I honestly can’t believe I shared this much so I’m going to stop now before I start to make edits.