First of all, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry if my recent blog post about caring for yourself while caring for others made you worry about me. I didn’t write that post with the intentions of causing worry or even talking in depth about the pits of my mental state. I was simply trying to get everything that’s been going on lately off of my chest, and after getting some feedback from those around me I realized it may have been perceived a little differently than I originally intended. October is mental health awareness month & today is mental health day, so it feels only fitting that I go into it a little bit more on my mental health. Being quiet does nothing but make it worse, and we need to accept and talk about our mental illnesses to get better.
I did realize that maybe I scared a few people with that blog post because I haven’t really let my anxiety show that much. I’ve dealt with over-worrying and anxiety for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was super socially anxious and shy. In the sixth grade, I was voted “most quiet” out of the whole class. I went through phases where my anxiety got the best of me with no known cause, like when I didn’t eat for several weeks because I was afraid I was going choke and die or because there were tapeworms in my food (we can thank a documentary on Animal Planet for that second one). Another example would be when I was petrified of ghosts and would sleep with my blanket all the way up over my head for nights on end (if I can’t see them, they can’t see me, right? Expert logic!) and not to mention the lack of sleep I got every Christmas due to my deep fear of Santa Clause.
Over the years, I have been able to manage my anxiety, fears, worrying, and paranoia. I’m an extrovert at heart who loves people, so the social anxiety part is mostly gone after forcing myself to talk to random people every week while greeting at Church on Sundays. I don’t fear to talk to new people, although sometimes walking into a crowded room can still get my heart racing. It’s virtually impossible for me to walk into a crowded room late. I do still also have a lot of random fears and paranoid spells. I will do everything humanly possible to avoid stepping foot in an elevator or on an indoor ride. I constantly worry people are judging me and that I’ll never be good enough. I need a lot of reassurance to build up any sort of confidence in myself.
Yes, my anxiety has been increasingly worsening over the last month, but there’s been a lot going on so I know that’s probably why. It’s nothing that I am majorly concerned with right now, and after talking about it with some lovely people (you know who you are and how grateful I am for you) I realized that it helps me be less anxious if I actually opened up about everything that’s swirling around in my head and didn’t try to hide it with a fake smile. I could just keep pushing on like nothing’s wrong, but that wouldn’t be in the least bit healthy.
I am looking forward to soon having a break. My fall break from school is next Monday and Tuesday and I’m thankful for the opportunity to also take off work to spend those days recuperating. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, this semester has not been the best. Like I’ve mentioned, a lot has been going on and I cannot wait to have a few days to rest and recover from it all. I plan on doing nothing but Halloween decorating, watching Hocus Pocus and Scary Godmother on repeat, and (hopefully) catching up with some friends and family. It feels like this is what my mind and soul needs, so I’m listening to it.
Make sure you take some time to take care of your mental health. I know it can be easy to forget, but mental health is just as important as your physical health. Rest, do some of your favorite things, and listen to what your brain is telling you! Know that you are loved through the struggle & despite what you may think, you are an amazing human being who is doing great things in this world!