In September of 2018, I lost my emotional support animal, Rascal. Not only was Rascal my puppy that had been there for 10 years, but he had been there on nights I put blades to my skin, nights I had been molested, nights where I tried to kill myself, nights ex boyfriends would throw me down stairs, push me out of cars, and throw me to the floor, and nights where no one was there for me. Losing him was one of the biggest pains, simply because he held all of that in his small, ten pound, four-legged body. The worst part about it was, it only took him a few hours to die. We did not expect him to grow so fuckin sick in hours and I did not expect to hold my very best friend as we had to end his suffering from a silent cancer. This drove me off the rails. Who was going to let me cry on them and cheer me up at the same time? Who was going to hold my deepest secrets and not tell a soul? In October of 2018, after nights on end of college parties, drinking bottles on top of bottles, staying around friends I knew were fake but they kept it from being silent, I knew it was time. I knew that I was ready to kill myself. I had nothing. So, I disappeared with no trace. No one knew where I went, if I died, or been taken. I drove to a psychiatric hospital and checked myself in. I told myself, if I still want to kill myself after getting professional help, I can. But first, I have to try. For a suicidal person, I was quite reasonable. I knew I wanted to get better but knew that it would take a village for someone with as much trauma as me. I was fucking scared. I had never even seen a hospital specifically for psychiatric needs. I had been in and out of the Psych wing of Emergency Rooms, but never to a hospital that specializes. I was scared, but oddly excited. I WANTED to get better. I did not want to constantly feel suicidal and sickened by myself. Just barely over a month before, I had gotten raped on my BIRTHDAY.
For a long time, I’ve been learning to manage my anxiety/depression in a number of ways. One of my first methods I started when I was 16, and that was talk therapy. I was terrified to see a therapist at first; it was already common for me to cry in the hallway at least twice a week at school, or have to go to the nurse’s office when my anxiety got so bad I had trouble physically moving around. Now I had to see a therapist? I felt like I was checking all the boxes for “crazy”, or “mentally unstable” or any of those words that made me feel like I was something to be avoided.
It is no secret that I suffer from the effects of anxiety and depression. I have struggled with the grips of these illnesses since I was a child. Lately, my mood has been less then ideal. I've been agitated, fatigued, panicked, and full of pain. There are many nights I sleep very little and quite a few days I have to fight to make any sort of progress. Self care helps. I do practice taking time for me where I can, trying to do activities I enjoy. I make a solid effort most days to get up, get dressed, shower, do my hair and makeup. I follow a pretty consistent schedule which is helpful.
So as everyone knows; mental health is something that gets affected constantly by different things every single day with each passing minute. One thing that affects it the most is trauma; especially when it happens during your childhood, and when you've just begun being a teen. Just picture it for a moment. You're a 15 year old, minding your own business, walking to a classroom, and then you suddenly feel something or, rather someone touch you. And where this someone is touching is not your shoulder.
I started my love of reading at an early age of about 6 or 7. I would come home from school with my book and sit down to read. At that age it was the normal Harry Potter or the like that was popular. Mainly, it was the fantasy books. I would read a couple of books here and there and it was alright, I'd enjoy what I was reading. And then, I thought I would just go and enjoy it some more.
I’ve been running all my adult life but I was never a serious runner. I never entered races or battled with my personal best. I was anxious enough in my twenties without the added stress of winning or losing.
By the time we've grown from children into fully fledged men, it would've been ingrained into our minds not to be "too emotional". We go through life putting our poker face but once that feeling of rage comes across us, we have a licence to go from 0-No Chill in less than a second. We've gotten pretty good at unleashing this emotion. Anger.
Seasonal depression is a phrase for a state that many of us have been in, but didn't know we weren't alone in feeling. For some, it's a dip in your mental health from a predominately stable year. For others, it adds on to what is already a difficult mental state.
Hmmmmm where do I begin..
Seasonal Anxiety is when a person struggles with anxiety caused by being around their family during the Christmas Season. To be clear – this is not Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Living with a mood disorder has been the hardest "obstacle" in my life; I say obstacle because that is exactly what it is. My disorder blocks my way and prevents me from making progress within. Throughout my teenage years I always had a gut-wrenching feeling that something was wrong with me, I didn't believe my thoughts were normal and it scared me; my mindset was in shambles and I had no idea how to cope.