I grew up in a household of depression and mental illness. I can remember in fourth grade during our morning share session that I announced my mom was in the hospital, with women's issues. I didn't know what those "issues" were, but there was a period of time when my mom wasn't around. Since then, she's gotten so much better, and she's my best friend, but I've recently come to terms with my own issues.
I have anxiety.
I think I've probably always had it. School bus rides made me nervous. I felt, sick, afraid and sometimes just not myself. I passed it off as jitters or nerves or just a fleeting feeling. It never really occurred to me it was serious until college. A lot of bad things happened all at once, all as I prepared to graduate. I quit sleeping, I cried a lot, I worried a lot, I came home and there were days I didn't understand why I was here or what the point of life even was. It was really scary and really dark. I didn't want to get help, I didn't want to admit that maybe I couldn't fight this and maybe I needed to stop crying.
One day I got tired of crying. I went to the doctors and since then I've used medicine to help me. Medicine isn't the answer for everyone, but it was the answer for me. I can think clearer, I don't cry and I like to wake up to an inbox full of pestering music blog requests and junk.
I thought I was doing good. I am doing good, but one month ago I had my first panic attack. I don't know why it happened, but it did, and I thought I was dying. I chalked it up to an overload of coffee, and forgot that it happened, until it happened again on Sunday night. Again, I felt like I was dying, like the world was spinning faster than I could keep up with. It wasn't a good feeling, so again I'm going for help.
I wanted to write this because I feel it's so important to own your illness. There's nothing to be ashamed of. There's nothing to hide. There is help out there, and it's up to you which help you choose, but please get that help. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can make things and life look crystal clear and perfect, but under all those statuses of success and fun are struggles. I have anxiety, and it's something I'm dealing with and it's not something I'm ashamed to share. Things make me nervous, life makes me nervous, the idea that I could feel like my head is swimming and I can't breathe scares the hell out of me. I don't know why it happens, I can't explain it, but I'm trying to understand it. Don't go on thinking these feelings are normal, and don't be afraid to admit that life is scary, and sometimes you need someone to help you through it.