Im super excited to announce that I’m writing for another mental health website!
Voices of Mental Health
Here is my anxiety story. A story that is told from now a place of confidence from once a place of fear and embarrassment. Anxiety will not limit me.
Voices of Mental Health first article:
“Having anxiety, depression, or any mental illness or limitation does not mean we can’t have high standards, ambitions, and goals. We just know where our boundaries and limits lie. We must prioritize our self-care over anything else and that is ok. The constant task of weighing our options and declining some opportunities will be our regular because we know that we can’t do everything. That’s what self-care is.”
My #metoo story
When I was in middle school, on my way to school one day, a grown man grabbed my butt. Startled and confused I looked back trembling to see him smiling as he walked away in satisfaction of his actions. I did not know this man. There were hundreds of kids around as it was by a high school and bus stop. I trembled the rest of the day, could feel my nerves all of sudden feel uneasy. I avoid the area where this happened to me. I feel uncomfortable to be alone outside sometimes. I’m hyperaware when I’m alone and often paranoid to walk by large groups of guys.
What’s happening now makes me more uncomfortable and afraid then I was before. The power I lost that day was unreal. To see so many women coming out in #metoo, to express their hopelessness in this country’s justice system to help makes me disgusted. To read the comments on these posts of people justifying these actions because of a loss of time or lack of evidence makes me furious. No one saw what happened to me that day, where there were swarms of people. I didn’t think what happened to me mattered. I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t grasp the idea that this was not ok. All I felt was a loss of self and of safety. I just want to feel safe again. When will I feel safe again?
It was a lot to think about this today. To think how often sexual assault, rape, and harassment happens on a daily basis. As women, we have to always be aware, be awake, and be looking out for our safety. It’s not fair for us to live like this. I’ve been disgruntled and uncomfortable all month.
Stay safe and be careful. It’s never your fault if these horrible things have happened to you (whether you’re a man or a woman).
I love you and I’m here if anyone wants to vent.
When I look at myself, this is what I see. I see someone who is able, but troubled, someone who loves, who cares, a fighter, a creator, a writer, an empath. When I see myself, I see someone who is many things. I see someone who has the power to be someone. I see change. I see struggle. I see growth.
Look at yourself. What do you see?
Make sure to look at all parts of you. All the parts that make you someone.
Sometimes we look at ourselves and we don’t know what we see. We don’t know who we are.
Look at yourself and tell me what you see.
You are a beautiful multifaceted masterpiece. It’s not enough to look at our pain and let it define all of who we are. We have to break ourselves apart to get to every piece of jewel.
We have so much in us that we toss to the side. We must dig deep to find our drive and our will to continuously know who we are.
Let’s find our light together.
Heal with me.
Comment below what you see when you look at yourself. Focus on everything (not just the good or the bad, but remember to be gentle with yourself). And as we begin to see, we begin to reflect and to grow in our self-acceptance.
See it also on The Mighty!
Nina Rondon is a 24-year-old Latina woman who grew up in a conservative Christian family in Brooklyn. She has suffered from anxiety and depression for several years but initially didn’t know how to describe her experience.
“Especially in the Latinx community, you don’t want to say you have depression,” Rondon said. “You don’t get treatment. You pray about it.”
Read more in the link above in article by Aneri Pattani
You ever been so tired your bones hurt?
You ever been so tired your eyes were heavy and your head nodded to the side?
You ever felt so tired that you could feel real tears forming in your eyes because all you wanted was to be able to sleep?
My worst fear in life is to feel this type of exhaustion again. To feel so much in a daze about reality that I wanted a break from being awake. I’ve become this exhausted more than one time, and I’m so afraid of feeling like this again. I’m afraid of the headaches, the irritation, the hunger, the dissociation, the lack of energy, and the anxiety that comes with it.
While my sleeping patterns will probably never get to where they need to be, I can always count on being able to sleep through the mornings while I gather myself to live through the next day.
College and food service jobs exhausted me so much I just want to be in bed. I want to recover and be able to sleep as much as I need to. I guess that’s why I’m afraid of getting another job.
I don’t want to feel this type of exhaustion again.
I’ve been awake at night and asleep during the day.
My eyes dried with the stale realization that I don’t matter.
My voice is low with no echo and no significance. Fingers pointing at me because I’m the dramatic one.
My motivation has wasted from its high expectation.
I fall flat on my face with this realization.
I feel broken, shattering into a million pieces, so I try to grab onto the nearest person to me, but they look at me confused…uncaring…whats wrong with you?
I scream but no sounds comes out. I’m sitting alone. I’m holding my knees to my chest.
I feel pain.
I see the sun come up.
And still I can’t see who I’m supposed to become.
My life has no meaning.
I write it down so I can see it…
You are a life worth living.
You are a life worth living.
And while I wipe the pieces of my broken self and realize it’s just shedding ashes from the volcano that just erupted inside me, I get up.
Maybe, just maybe I will begin to see that my life is necessary.
I’ve never felt so proud of myself ever before.
The excitement to create or make something and call it mine.
To give myself credit is to create power in myself.
I feel my purpose in this. This is my healing and my strength.
My self-worth is my motivation. And as I become more and more engulfed in my self-journey, I can feel joy like no other.
A joy that is great and more overwhelming then I could imagine.
This. Is. Me.
The way I can imagine something and give it life. The way I can create using words. A story made into art.
This is sparklywartanks.
Sparklywartanks is the birth of my identity. The creation of the lion in my dream.
I will work until I build what my vision has crafted.
The hardest part of my life gave birth to my purpose so I thank the struggle for making the diamond.
My motivation has never been this intense.
It’s time to create something. Something that reflects what I see in my mind because it’s beautiful.
Before I developed anxiety, I would push myself to my limit. My perfectionism didn’t allow me to do anything but my best, and because of that I never looked at myself or my health before making decisions. In my days after college living with anxiety, making decisions about everything has to be thought out with my health first changing my approach on life entirely.
I’ve been in the most uncomfortable situations because I have to explain to people that I can’t. I’ve never known myself to not do something because of my mental health, but the past 2 years have been both humiliating and embarrassing. I have to measure stress levels in environments, decide what’s best for me based on whether I would get overwhelmed or not and it’s not been easy what’s so ever.
I’ve learned, however, that because of my anxiety I’m the most important person in my life. If I want to heal, I have to put myself first no matter who judges me and thinks that I’m weak, overexagerating, or believes what I’m going through is not real. Although I’ve cried having this realization many times in the past year, I can say that I refuse to have another panic attack another day in my life. I will not backtrack my healing to make money or satisfy anyone’s inability to see the realness in my struggle.
I’m my first priority and I will find peace in my mental chaos. I will surround myself with things that are good and not allow anyone to tell me that I’m crazy.
I love myself and will continue with my healing in ways that I know best. The only person who can tell me how to heal me is me. I will heal by understanding and knowing myself.
My healing will progress by me having a voice about my well-being.
Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me. How is it that I can love deeply like this? I think of the ways that can make someone else smile. I spend hours looking for something or thinking up ideas on ways I can express my love. Why? Is it that serious? But then I feel bad because sometimes I don’t get the magnitude of love back that I’m giving so I break down. I feel betrayed. Why do I love like this? Even when I can’t afford to love like I do, I’ll go broke drowning in my giving.
I wish I can give the world when I can’t. I’m working too hard to get the love I’m letting out. I don’t want to look crazy for being creative with my love so I feel like I’m retreating to a dark place in my self-esteem. I’m afraid of being hurt and embarrassed for doing too much.
I just want love too.
As I learn to explain what anxiety is to others, I have to first validate what it is in my head and love myself through it. Anxiety is something I go through everyday and by understanding where it came from, I can treat it and take steps in my healing process.