Mental Health Struggles

These last couple of weeks I haven’t posted to my blog because I was going through a hard time emotionally. And then, I was afraid to share about it because I worried about how people were going to perceive me or if they would judge me. The topic that has always been the closest to my heart and the most important reason why I want to write a book to help people is mental health. Maintaining a mental and emotional balance is something that I have struggled with on and off throughout my life. I know some people are hit with it even harder. But, I think each and every one of us has experienced a time when we’re feeling low, feeling anxious, or just feeling unbalanced. And when we’re right in the middle of it trying to move through it, life becomes insanely hard to deal with.

I was racking my brain trying to figure out why I was feeling this way. There was no surface reason for me to be feeling depressed. But, I was feeling so low, so down, and then those feelings were also producing anxiety for me because I was feeling out of control. I didn’t want to go through my day feeling that way, but I couldn’t stop feeling that way—so then I was becoming even more anxious about it! I then realized I was making the situation worse for myself with my urges to try to control it. Sometimes we can’t control our emotions. We have to just let ourselves FEEL them rather than try to fight or resist them. Once I realized this, I prayed for God to give me strength to get through the day because I felt like I couldn’t do it on my own. I then heard the message, just show up, that’s all you need to do. So that’s what I did. I showed up and guess what? I got through the day.

I know that my spells of depression and anxiety stem from this deep-rooted insecurity that has followed me my whole life. It’s this nagging feeling that I’m just not good enough. I remember when I was a kid in elementary school and I had the hardest time with math. And, I would get SO frustrated when I couldn’t understand how to do something. I would start crying out of frustration and put this wall up, which made it nearly impossible for my parents, teacher, or really anyone to try to teach me the solution. I felt stupid and I felt like I wasn’t good enough because I couldn’t understand or follow what was being taught.

When I was older, these feelings of insecurity were further validated as I found myself in relationships with guys that didn’t respect or value me. One even flat out said to me, “you’re nothing” along with other disgusting remarks. And, the sad thing is that I believed it. All these feelings of not being good enough followed me around like a dark storm cloud. I suffered for two years with constant anxiety and even panic attacks. On top of all of the mental health issues, I started having problems with my physical health. The combination of everything lead me to spiral into the deepest depression I’d ever experienced in my life. I had suicidal thoughts and truly did not want to live in this world any longer. Even though I had been seeing a therapist regularly for two years, I still fell into this dark, dark place. But, I got on some medication for six months and things started looking up. I was able to wean off of it and still continue the progress I had made.

I have realized that this insecurity of not being good enough is just one of my demons I have to face in my lifetime. Call it a demon, call it a challenge, a life lesson, whatever. We all have them. And, it’s not like a one-time battle and then you’re done. Our challenges will resurface and test our strength, test us to see us practice what we’ve learned from our previous battles. And, I know that where I am today, I am lightyears away from that broken girl three years ago. The thing is, we can end our suffering without having to resort to drastic measures. And, if or when the demons re-emerge, we have NOTHING to be afraid of. Because when you have faced them before and survived, you know in your heart that you can do the same thing again.

Like everyone, I go through many ups and downs. But, thankfully I don’t stay down for too long anymore. I guess the point of me writing about such a personal and raw topic today is to express that sometimes you really don’t know what someone is going through on the inside. People that know me, know me as a generally happy, bubbly, positive person—and I am. I smile, I laugh, I’m able to pull myself together and it can seem like I’m doing fine. But, I also struggle with things that I don’t necessarily share or explain to everyone. It’s sometimes easier to block it out and pretend that everything is okay. But, if you ever see someone break down over something seemingly small or perhaps even no major reason, there is probably more going on that you aren’t aware of. So, have compassion and send them your love because that is what they need the most.

If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed, suicidal, or going through any kind of emotional crisis there are resources out there to help. You can call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or if you prefer to text, send the text "Home" to 741741 and a crisis worker will text you back immediately and continue to text with you.

Most of all, please know that you are never alone.