You never know just how awful a mental illness can be until you find yourself smack dab in the middle. The chest tightening, walls collapsing, sweaty palms, dizziness, babbling speech, weak knees, you name it. It all can come at any time. Being told you have bipolar, severe anxiety, ptsd, and depression is a little unnerving and a lot to take in. How will I handle it? How will others perceive me? Will my loved ones understand and support me? What’s wrong with me? What did I do to deserve this?
Looking back now I know I had anxiety at an early age, but I never had the words to explain what I was feeling. There were certain times in my life that elevated it, and times I thought I had it controlled. After losing my dad I was at an all time low. I thought I’d never make it through and I couldn’t get a grip on my feelings. I had to quit my job and get the help I needed to understand my anxiety. I was an emotional mess at any given moment at work and couldn’t give it my all. That’s when I found out it wasn’t just anxiety. It was deeper. Although hearing it was scary, it was somewhat a relief to know there was help out there. What I was feeling wasn’t crazy, it was legitimate thoughts running through my head. I could go on about all of those feelings, but that’s for another day.
Which brings me to what is out there to help if you are suffering and need help? Do you just let it go and hope it gets better? Try to self medicate with all the wrong things? Or do you push it until you can’t handle it anymore like I did? I went through three doctors before finding the one. THREE! Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself and your mental health. Some doctors will just prescribe you something and not really listen. I had doctors turn their cheek when I would go back saying it didn’t work, or I was feeling sick. There are many doctors out there that you are just another face and number to them. You will encounter them. If you are lucky you’ll find the best one, the first time. Do not be afraid to speak up because only you know how you’re feeling. It took me over a year to find the right medicines and right doctor. I didn’t want to be “that girl” who was on medicine, but you know what…it saved me. It saves me every single day. I really don’t care that there are people out there that think taking a pill to save your life is wrong, it isn’t their life to live. Find the things that work for YOU. What works for me, might not work for you! Some can cope without medicine, and some need it. We are all warriors. Get up everyday and do the damn thing girl. We can all get through this together.