Hello beautiful people!
I debated long and hard about writing this post, but I think it’s about time I talk about this.
Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, which is a beautiful campaign that Bell has created where they donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives for every text, tweet and Facebook post sent with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.
This blog has always been a wonderful way for me to talk about my love of all things beauty, but today we’re going to go beyond the surface and take a deeper look.
I have Anxiety. I’ve struggled with it on and off my whole life, sometimes being able to manage it, and sometimes, especially lately, not so much.
Anxiety is different for everyone who struggles with it, which is why I think it’s so difficult for other people to empathize or understand, but the one thing I can tell you is that it is not something that can just be turned off.
“Just don’t worry” and “It’s all in your head” are not sentences that can be rationalized, no matter how much you wish they could be. It’s literally like being a slave to your own thoughts, and having no control over how you feel – and it is terrifying.
I recently hit a point where I could no longer do it by myself, my coping mechanisms had failed me and I became a prisoner to my own brain.
I have never felt so lost in my entire life, the hopelessness of feeling like who I was as a person was completely stripped away, and all that was left was some anxious mess I didn’t recognize was too much.
I didn’t want to turn to anyone for help because it’s not something that’s openly talked about, and I’d always been able to manage it on my own. I didn’t want anyone to tell me just to “get over it” or “stop thinking about it”, so I let it build and build, and had panic attack after panic attack until it broke me.
I finally asked for help. Asking for help was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but it’s also the proudest I’ve ever been of myself. There is no shame in asking for help! I had some incredible people who supported me through it – friends and family, which made it a little easier to be brave. When I was in a moment of being ashamed of myself for needing help my sister said to me “Do you feel ashamed when you get a cold? no. Because it’s not something you can help” Nothing will ever resonate with me the way that did – it was like a lightbulb went off and I found a courage in myself I thought I’d lost. There is nothing wrong with needing a little help in life, you just have to BE BRAVE!
I understand feeling completely alone, and I understand feeling like no one could possibly grasp what’s going on in your head, but you need to remember that you are not alone!
I’ve finally managed to put the pieces of myself back together, alone, and with the support of the people who love me, but I know that this is something the will continue to effect me. The difference is that I’ve also learned that my Anxiety does not define me, this is not who I am – it’s just a part of me that I need to work on by myself, and with help, and hopefully over time it wont be a part of me at all.
The stigma that surrounds all aspects of mental health makes it incredibly difficult to reach out and find the help that works for you, whether it’s seeking medication, talking to a therapist or even just talking to a friend. we need to end this stigma so that anyone with struggles can feel supported instead of criticized, we need to educate people to show compassion instead of judgement.
My journey has been tough, and continues to be tough, but I am lucky enough to have love and strength within the people in my life to begin coming out of it. Everyone should have that opportunity, everyone should be able to talk about their mental health whether or not they have struggles – but really, who are we kidding? we all have struggles. We just need to show kindness to one another instead of throwing out words like “crazy”.
Just remember, no matter what you’re walking through, or where you’re at in your journey, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.
I am here for any of you that may want someone to talk to, I can’t guarantee that I’ll say the right things, but you’ll know you’re not alone, which is so important! Let’s end the stigma, and love one another.
Until next time my loves,