When I was trying to think of a picture to accompany this blog, I realized I don't have many. Who takes pictures of themselves in the middle of a true, blue anxiety attack? Not me, anyway. Then I realized that every photo of me is managing my anxiety. It doesn't go away. This photo is me accompanying my sweet son, the ring bearer, down the aisle of my brother in law's wedding ceremony in Italy. Moments like those, my anxiety disappears and I am at immense peace, if even for a few moments.
October is Depression Awareness Month. While I haven't suffered from depression in a few years, it began my relationship with my anxiety. When I was a sophomore in college, I completely shut down. I wouldn't get out of bed. My room was a mess. I wouldn't shower. I barely went to class-- even my theatre classes. I finally broke down and went to therapy and sure enough, ya girl was depressed. Therapy has this weird way of sneaking things out of you that you forgot you even dealt with. It seems obvious to me now, but I never quite dealt with the two completely unexpected suicides of two high school friends that had just happened, and within two months of one another. Sprinkle in the incredible pressure of theatre school in general, working 20 hours a week, and being away from my family and you have a pretty good recipe for a mental breakdown.
Therapy lasted about 2 months and by the end, I felt amazing. I had turned a major corner, just by talking to someone who had no bias about me or my life. But then what soon developed was anxiety. I was (and still am in some ways) terrified to slip back into depression. I over-corrected, in a way. If things aren't going as planned or if someone shows any bit of negativity towards me, it starts to creep in. I was doing pretty good, especially through this new transition... until this week. And you know what? I posted about it on Facebook and Instagram. Peep those comments, y'all. I'm not alone. You're not alone.
Now, I'm not a doctor. But, therapy changed the course of my journey forever. It's a major goal in 2019 to return. In the meantime, I've found incredible relief in Hemp and CBD products (all legal, y'all), talking about it in my group texts, and just... breathing through it. But, if you are crippled by your feelings, get thee to therapy. There is no shame. There is only love.
Cry. Yell. Write. Sing. Dance. Talk. Walk your son down the aisle. You got this.
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