This is not really a 'Blogtober' piece but I have been working on this for a while and even wrestling with the idea of a post like this for longer. And I finally feel like this is the time for me to publish it. Earlier this year, I wrote a short post titled 'The Truth' in which I became honest with y'all that I was struggling.
As I started to write this, I was thinking about giving y'all an update because I figured in four months, I would be better. I would have shit figured out. I was wrong.
To give a little back story: When I was a freshman in high school, my life became hectic. I joined the soccer team, I was in theater, I was learning how to not be awkward (still trying to learn), I was having trouble concentrating in my classes, my dad and is girlfriend were expecting a child-which meant I would be a big sister for the first time and then my dad and said girlfriend decided to get married.
Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and could not control my emotions. I was sick all the time, both physically and emotionally. My mom got concerned and decided to take me to my doctor. After hearing my symptoms, he decided that he was not the best person to be talking to me about this and advised my mom to take me to a therapist. So she did.
I guess it was a good thing I had a childhood friend who's mom was one. I went to her office one day and had my preliminary session. After a couple of weeks of attending sessions, she got me to start talking. After hearing some of my struggles, she decided she wanted to run some tests on me.
Through those tests, we found out what I was going through. I had ADHD, anxiety and a slight case of depression. I refused any medicine because I did not like how it made me feel, so my therapist continued with my sessions.
At the end of my sophomore year, we decided that I should not need any more sessions which I thought that meant that I was "cured". My junior and senior year saw me ignoring any kinds of signs that I was not okay because a professional told me I was fine so why should I not believe her?
I distinctly remember one day having a break down in science class because we had to read out-loud. Thankfully, a friend came to find me and calm down. The rest of my high school year, and my first two years of college saw me actively making sure that I did not come into those situations again-giving up doing remotely anything that I wanted to try because I did not want to feel that way again. I did not want to feel powerless and weak.
The point to this long walk down memory lane is that I ignored every single sign of my anxiety, ADHD and depression because I did not want to be known as the girl who has a mental illness. I also did not want to be called out for doing it for attention. Mental illnesses were looked on as a taboo subject. People kept their illnesses a secret for fear of losing their friends and family.
But I am a senior in college. In May of 2017, I will be walking across the stage to be handed my Bachelor's degree in Communications with future plans knocking at my door. And I say screw that statement.
Mental illnesses NEED to be talked about. People who are diagnosed with mental illnesses should not be afraid to seek help or ask their friends and family for help. Did you know that 2 out of 3 people who are diagnosed do not seek treatment? Or that in Texas alone, 3 out of 4 Texans have a friend or family that have experience mental illness?
I do not want to be the girl who shies away from trying new things or the girl who is too afraid to leave the safety net of her home. I also do not want anyone else to go through what I went through in high school and college. I do not want to be the girl who is ashamed of herself.
So here I am-unmasking for all of you to truly see. I am not okay. I am struggling. I am working towards handling everything but sometimes, most of the time, my mind gets the better part of me. But I am taking this one day at a time. And I am standing with others to break down the stigma that surrounds mental illness because it is nothing to be ashamed of.
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing..."