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Good Days/Bad Days

Today was a better day than I’ve had in a while. I cleaned, I did laundry, I cooked, I baked, I did my homework, I went to Starbucks, I went to target. And why am I telling you this? Because several days this week I didn’t get out of bed. Because one night this week I wrote you’ll find later in this article. Because it’s important to talk about how dark and light this is, how day and night it can be. I can flip in an instant.

There isn’t always a reason, sometimes there is. My brain can change everything in a few seconds. One minute I am fine and happy, the next my hands are shaking and I’m panicked.  Today in the store I was borderline having an anxiety attack because I realized I was going out of town in two weeks, and would come back and need to get ready to start training for a new job. A training process that I’m terrified about. And, And And… I just kept going. Luckily, my best friend is the best at breaking things down into smaller things that I can do to help. Ex: “But going home will be so good for you” “You will be so amazing at this job and I’m so excited for you. You can do this.” Seriously, how lucky am I to have that kind of support??

I’ve gotten in the habit of trying to write when I can tell it’s getting bad, because I see things differently then. It’s like someone else takes over. Even  what I read a few days later can sound absolutely crazy, but it’s not. It’s just what depression looks like, and to be perfectly honest it’s ugly (and crazy).

So, several nights ago I wrote this, at around 12:30/1am. I hadn’t been able to sleep, and it was getting worse. I also had the flu so I wasn’t able to eat much at all. I’m sure all of that just added to things. But here we go–

I want to believe there is reason that my life is like this.

As I’m standing in my room at midnight crying for absolutely no reason, as I look at my reflection and realize it’s not a girl I want to be and it’s not who I am. Tears running down my face, eyes puffy, I haven’t touched my hair in four days, I don’t even have clean clothes to put on. That’s my reality. That’s what this looks like. It’s not pretty. It’s not a trend or to get attention. Because I hate when people tell me that. You think I would go through this for attention? No. God I would never wish this on anyone. It’s standing at your vanity grabbing the edge while you are crying to hold yourself up. As I try to convince myself to go start shower water to try to see if the hot water can calm me down. It’s trying to hold yourself together when you think the world is ending. When you feel so alone.

That’s always the word. Alone. You think you are alone, you feel alone. You start scrolling through social media and posting a bunch of stuff to try to convince yourself you are not alone. You want the likes and the comments, you want the affirmation. You want compliments. You turn to that to try to feel good. But it’s still an empty feeling. Honestly, it makes it so much worse. You end up on the explore page and you see people who are getting engaged, or buying a house, or who look perfect, who have incredible jobs, who are graduating college, who have this or that or whatever that you wish you could have. It’s insane. I mean, I don’t know these people, and yet here I am scrolling through their picture perfect lives. But that just makes it feel so much worse, because you start blaming yourself about why you aren’t good enough to have those things.

It’s not like I can even talk to anyone about this when I’m breaking down because they always look at me with a sad look and say “I’m sorry” but then they move on in the conversation. That doesn’t help. I just want someone who will listen to me and not be annoyed they have to deal with me and my insecurities, and my mental illness.

I know it’s hard to imagine anyone going through this. But even people who don’t look like they struggle do. I know that tomorrow everything will look better. I know that. But right now all I see in my reflection is a girl in tears, who doesn’t think she is good enough for the people who love her. A girl who feels lost and overwhelmed.

 

Okay so… Obviously, that is going to worry a lot of people. Let me stress that I’m good, I’ve actually been happy today. I worked on projects, I finished up this article, I played with my dog, and I finally have a clean apartment again. I know some people will think that I’m oversharing, but this is a topic that someone has to start talking about. Even the uncomfortable stuff.

Ps- I did take the shower, hot water did in fact help. I also drank a cup of hot tea as well as hot chocolate and was able to calm down. I have several things I will do to come back from it, and each time something does help.

Celebrate the little victories, cleaning, getting out of bed, cooking, because those are huge accomplishments. They don’t seem like they are to everyone else, but to someone struggling with mental illness, doing any of these things is a hard battle to fight. One of my favorite things that my mom has learned to do, is celebrate my little victories. She understands that it is hard for me, and it means so much to me that she takes time to recognize it. My best friend does the same thing, she is constantly telling me she is proud of me when I manage to get things done. Neither one of them get upset with me when I feel overwhelmed, they talk me through it. They both understand if my kitchen is a little messy, or if I ignore my phone for hours. They have been so absolutely wonderful. My brain my like to feel alone, but I’m far from alone.

I know just how scary the dark times are, and I also know you can get through them.

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You Deserve It

You Deserve It… That is the text that I just received. I had told my mom that I was very emotionally overwhelmed, and she said that hopefully soon I start to feel better and that we can get some things adjusted, because I deserve to feel better.

That meant I broke down crying, not because I was upset by it, but that it hit me that I didn’t feel like I deserved to feel better. I have no reason to feel that way, life has actually been going well recently. But here I am once again crying late and night feeling emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m used to this. I haven’t had any bad things happen that should make me feel exhausted or overwhelmed. I just opened two shows in a row, I love my job, I have wonderful friends and family, and am coming up on one year of having my dog. But really I needed someone to tell me that I deserved it and was worth it. That was the moment that I realized I had stopped taking care of myself recently.

Then I realized that I didn’t need to have something bad to have happened in order for me to feel like this. I just spent two or three weeks (I’m unsure, time has blurred) of work and a lot of human interaction. That alone is exhausting for me. I told my therapist this week that I just kind of felt blank, I realize now that feeling was the start of me kinda crashing because I had been trying to push myself through everything. I was just numb. I didn’t know how I felt. My schedule was weird, I was thrown off from any sense of a routine, which can be really important for anxiety and depression. A routine means that I know what is coming, and I am flexible within my routine, but it is really nice sometimes to have a series of things I can use to help get ready for the day or for work. In so many ways it is calming, because I don’t have to panic about what I need to do. It sets me up for the day. I have a routine at night as well that helps to wind down from the day.

I get emotionally exhausted easily right now. That isn’t bad, because I would be shocked if I didn’t. I recognize that I have a lot of things going on, and that I’ve been keeping myself too busy to do any form of self-care. That’s another thing, being busy helps, but sometimes there is a blurred line between being too busy and busy. Being busy is nice because it gives me motivation. Being too busy is not a good thing, because I start not taking care of myself. I’m starting to learn that I can catch the emotional exhaustion, and when I know it’s coming I can help ease it. I’m not going to prevent it, on top of medical stuff I’m a high introvert, being around more than one or two people is absolutely exhausting for me. But I can acknowledge what is happening and take small actions to help.

It’s important to know what your limits are. It’s important to evaluate what you are feeling, and when, and what helps. Everyone will have different limits, and have different things that are triggers for the anxiety or depression. For me therapy has been incredible for realizing what some causes are and some limits, because sometimes I can’t figure out why I feel so stressed until I’m talking about everything I have going on and I start to connect the dots.

Point being, if you are taking the time to read through this I am guessing either you or someone you know is dealing with depression and anxiety. Or maybe you just want a better understanding. Sometimes they will just be overwhelmed and exhausted, and sometimes there isn’t anything bad that had to have happened. Sometimes even if a lot of good is happening, you still feel that way. You still feel like you don’t deserve the good you do have, it’s just another way your brain is trying to fight you. Sometimes it is just exhausting being around big groups of people. It’s okay. Feeling that is not your fault and you are not to blame. It’s part of this, but I’m learning to live with it and you can too. For me sometimes writing will give me clarity. Sometimes writing is a way of stopping the panic I start to feel because I can think through everything. It will be different for everyone. Sometimes working out helps, sometimes coloring, sometimes reading a book. There are different little ways you can learn that will help you. I can’t magically tell you what works for me will work for you, because it might not, but I can tell you that there are things you can find that will help.

The thing is, you absolutely deserve to feel better, and don’t let yourself feel differently. Because you are worth it and you deserve it.

Note: if you ever are feeling afraid of therapy, or unsure, please feel free to message me to talk to me about it.

Life · Uncategorized

I Am More Than My Looks

Okay boys, lets have a talk. I’ve had several conversations this week with guys, who have just talked about my looks the entire time. Guess what? I am so much more than my looks. Honestly, I hate guys who keep talking to me about my looks, it’s not fun, it’s not cute, it’s not getting you anywhere. Yes, it is nice to be told you are beautiful, but that’s not the same as being told you are hot. Those are two totally different phrases. It’s also not fun to have every response be just about my looks. For example, below are two real conversations I have had this week.

“You’re cute” ~ boy

“Thanks, how are you today?” ~ Me

“You are really hot” ~ Boy

“Ok… So how was work?” ~ Me

“Oh it was ok, you are seriously so cute” ~ Boy.

 

OR

“My car wont start” ~ Me

“Sorry, but you are so cute!!” ~ Boy

WHAT.

That’s not a response to what I just asked at all. If you can’t hold a conversation beyond you are hot, you are cute, you are so attractive, then it is not a conversation I am interested in having. At this point, I have serious questions about your ability to talk about anything but a girl’s looks. Girls are worth a lot more than their looks, I guess no one ever told you that.

While we are on the topic, I also don’t want the messages at 2am asking if I am awake. I’m sorry, I am not, and if I am, I am not the girl you are looking for. You won’t get the messages back that you want to get. You will get mad at me when I shut you down, and guess what? It is not my fault. You don’t get to yell at me when I shut you down. I don’t owe you anything. It is not my responsibility to make you feel good about yourself. It’s pathetic that you are asking me.

I wish I could say this was only one guy, or that it was only one time. But it’s not, it happens all the time. That’s weird guys. It is weird and uncomfortable. I get that some girls want that, but if you are clearly making a girl uncomfortable maybe it is time to stop. I don’t know why it is so hard for a guy to understand that I want to have conversations that are about things other than my looks. Maybe it is because I don’t think of my looks being anywhere near the top of my list of what I think my best qualities are? Maybe it is because I was raised around guys who respected girls. But this is new for me and I hate it. Stop messaging random girls you see on Facebook or Instagram who you think are hot, stop being creepy. Stop being pushy when you are told to back off or go away. Stop cat calling girls who are walking to their cars, because now we feel unsafe.

We have thoughts, ideas, passions. We have things we love to talk about, we have things we love to work hard at. I’m sorry, but a guy who is just wanting to talk about looks, who is clearly only interested in looks is not going to get very far in a conversation. That’s boring and honestly makes girls uncomfortable. Again, I know not every girl is uncomfortable with this, but we talk about stuff like this and more of us are uncomfortable with it than are willing to step up and stand up for ourselves. It’s hard to fight something that society makes so okay. It’s hard to stand up to someone twice your size knowing that they can overpower you. It’s absolutely terrifying. You think a guy won’t threaten you? You are wrong. I’ve had it happen, I’ve had friends who have had it happen. It’s not okay.

We live in a world where some guys still think it is a girls job to sit still and look pretty, and to make them feel good, and to stroke their egos. Sorry guys but I don’t play that game. I’m busy. I am sick of being told that I’m hot in response to a question that was not related to my looks at all. Guys wonder why girls have so many self-confidence issues and so many body issues, and some of it comes from the way we are talked to.

Next time you want to compliment a girl, talk to her about her passions and how you enjoy talking with her about things she loves. Take an interest in what she likes, if you compliment her looks tell her she looks beautiful. But make sure she knows that she is more to you than her body.

Just honestly start treating women with the respect we deserve. We work hard to be where we are in life, and it’s degrading when a man only wants to talk about my looks. I had a guy interview me once for a job and halfway through he stopped and asked me my age because of my looks, which isn’t even legal. I know a few guys will read this and not be surprised, and some will be. I wish I was exaggerating with these things, but I’m not.

Guys who think my worth is determined based on my looks, are part of the reason that I have issues today. I have issues with body image from years of guys judging me based on looks, and telling me what I needed to fix to be better. I’ve been told where I fall on a scale of 1 to 10 for looks. It mentally screws you up.

I am not here to play your little game. I am tired of boys being upset at me for not playing. I am not meat. I am not just a body, I am a soul too. And as Princess Jasmine so politely put it, I am NOT a prize to be won.

Life · Uncategorized

Living With Depression

A little note before we get into this one: This is an article I have been working on for just over four months now, and it’s a little longer than some. I’ve struggled with leaving all of it, cutting some of it, what I should or shouldn’t share, and when the right time would be. It’s been a little chaotic in my life with two shows and school and everything else, so this took me longer than I expected to get around to finally posting. With all of that said, here are some of my thoughts about living with depression.

Living with depression-
Means you cry yourself to sleep knowing full well that everything in life is okay. And realizing that you are very loved, but you can’t feel that. Your hands start to shake and you don’t know why. It means physically everything feels heavy. You don’t have control of anything. There are times that I know I’m not acting like myself, but I don’t know how to stop. It means you feel like you are drowning constantly. It means your brain sits there and tells you that no one loves you and you are alone. It means that there are days where the storm doesn’t leave. It means that things feel like they are dark and heavy.

It’s calling your best friend crying because you don’t know what’s wrong and just needed to hear a voice. It’s knowing some days you won’t get out of bed. We have good days too, not all the days are bad ones, the good days are extra exciting for me because I can accomplish things on those days! I love the days where I have little victories.

It means you fight every single day of your life. It means you fight a really really hard battle. The thing is- way more people fight that battle than you know. You can fight it. You are stronger than this disease. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but this makes you so much stronger because you fight every single day.
Friends stop asking you to go places because you “bring down the party” with low energy. They start to find other people to put in your place. It sucks. It adds to the anxiety of no one liking you.
Some people don’t understand it. They get really weirded out by talk of depression or anxiety (like most people do). People just don’t know how to talk about it. People can’t understand that it’s just another part of my life.
Then the friends who are left, show you that you only need one or two friends after all. Because the friends who will love you through it and who are there for you, are your true friends. People will deny walking out of your life. People will give you a different reason for leaving, because they know that they can’t tell you it’s because they don’t want to deal with someone who is depressed.

People judge you if you openly admit to having depression. (I know, I still get the looks and comments) I’ve been told that I just want attention, I’m sorry but if I wanted attention I would have other ways. I don’t find crying for no reason fun, I don’t enjoy the days I don’t have the energy to get out of bed.

Why? Because there is such a negative stigma of it. Because no one talks about it. Because we don’t treat it like the disease it is. Depression sounds so scary. People seem to think that they can’t talk about the effects of depression. I know so many people in my life who have been affected by someone taking their own life. It is a disease, and it’s one that people feel like they can’t seek help for. I told several people for months that I didn’t need help because I had no right to be depressed since I had a good life.

Depression is so nasty like that, it’s literally chemicals in your brain that are messed up. Your brain, you know the part of you that controls everything. It’s like someone takes over for you, and you no longer drive. It’s absolutely horrible. I know, I am living it, and I have been for sometime.

Thank God I have the friends I do that helped tell me I needed to find a doctor. I know how much medication helps. The thing about it being part of your brain is that it changes how you think, how you talk to yourself, how you see yourself, how you see the world. It convinces you that you are alone, and it feels so real even if it isn’t. Something is changing your brain, that is so insane to think about. Not everyone agrees with medication, but I can tell you that for me it has helped so much. My brain is finally starting to become stable again and I’m finally starting to gain pieces of myself that I had lost back.

But here we sit blaming ourselves. Here we sit telling us that everyone else in our lives deserves better than us. We tell ourselves that we are the problem. We freak out over the smallest things. We feed ourselves lies about ourselves. We feel the need to apologize for everything. We freak out when we think we have been ignored or replaced. We can’t be rational about it, it’s an insane feeling. Then we feel worse again. It’s this crazy loop.

Do I still fight this? Absolutely. I think part of it is coming to terms with the fact that you will never fully get rid of it. It was a big step for me when I realized that this was a part of my life, but it didn’t need to stop me from living my life. It’s knowing during your depressive states that everything is okay even though it doesn’t feel like it is. There have been nights I sit in bed crying, but I am also saying to myself it is okay- this is something you fight, but it is okay and in the morning things will look better.  But you can learn to love yourself again, you can learn to get back to who you were. I’ve gotten to a point with a lot of help from therapy and doctors that I know when a depressive state which helps a lot. I’m able to prepare myself and even sometimes my two support friends for what is coming.

I have been through not wanting to see a doctor, I didn’t want to admit that something was wrong with me. Sure I wouldn’t get out of bed some days, and I had no desire to do anything. But I kept making up excuses until I got to the point where I hated myself. I didn’t have control of my own life anymore. I happened to have a friend to snap me back to reality when I was hitting my breaking point. I was lucky that my friend saw the signs. I didn’t see them. Looking back I should have seen it, but I didn’t. That friend noticing and talking to me saved my life. I don’t want to know how much worse I would have gotten. I don’t like thinking about it.

I really don’t like thinking about the fact that there are people who feel like I did who feel like they have no one to go to. It’s scary, but it is okay. Or the people who listen to the voice that tells them they are not enough. You are enough.

I will never be able to stop stressing how important it is to talk about this. I know it makes people uncomfortable, and I know it’s sensitive. But we need to start talking about mental illness. It is an Illness. You cannot make this go away, and it’s not your fault for feeling like this. Just like diabetes, you need to get help to fight it.

You can make it. You can do this. If I can, I promise anyone can. I’m not any stronger than anyone else, I’ve accepted this for what it is.

Once I finally sat down with doctors and explained things, I was able to see the light. It doesn’t make the darkness go away, but it does promise that there is still that light out there. I’ve been on this journey for nine months now, and I was fighting it for about two years before I realized what was going on (reference, why I never thought it would happen to me). That first doctors visit was terrifying, but you know it was incredibly worth it. Nine months later I’m able to go out and do things. I’m involved in things I love, and I’m able to share everything I have been through and go through so that maybe someone who reads it can know they are not alone, and there is hope.

Yes, I am on medication and go to therapy but now my life continues. Now I have help fighting this, and I have a team in my corner. It is not your fault that you have to fight this. You will learn to love yourself again in the process, and it’s an incredible feeling. Realizing you can actually feel happy again, is wonderful.

I wish I could tell you there is an easy fix, but depression is really aggressive. I wish I could tell you the world was an accepting place, but there are accepting people.

You are loved and you are not alone. You matter to this world. The fight is hard, you are worth it.

Life · Uncategorized

Just Imagine

Let’s play a game. Imagine that you are having a wonderful day, you got your school assignments done, you did your laundry, you took care of the errands. You decide to say yes to dinner with your friends. It’s been weeks since you have had the time to see them. You should be excited, right? But you aren’t. The thought of it starts to become panicked the closer you get to when you are supposed to leave. You don’t want to get ready, the thought of being around people talking to you is horrible, and you start to try to think of excuses so you don’t have to go. But then you just feel guilty because “I don’t think I can come tonight” is never good enough for anyone.

Or

You are sitting in a room, the room has no light and you can’t find a door. The room starts to shrink, it starts to get warmer, and you hear what must be hundreds of people surrounding the room. Everything around you seems to be spinning, and it’s just getting faster. Before you know it, you are in this box, you can’t move, you have trouble breathing, your entire body feels fear. You start to shake and you can’t seem to grab hold of anything. It feels like someone else is controlling your entire body.

Or

You are trying to reach one of your friends, and it’s been a few hours and you haven’t heard back. Logically you know they are busy or their phone died, but you panic. There are a million things that could be wrong, or what if you did something wrong and you don’t know what you did. What if they had you now?

You feel like you have always done something wrong and always have something to apologize for. You feel like you are constantly not good enough. I am always saying I’m sorry, and when people ask why I say I don’t know, I’m just sorry. You always feel like you are just worse than everyone else.

 

Imagine hating yourself so much that you don’t want your dog to even look at you. You want to cry because he loves you so much, and you don’t deserve that love. You feel like you don’t deserve him at all.

All of these things, and so much more are things I’ve felt in the last year. For the most part, with a lot of help from therapy and doctors and medication and friends and family, I can realize sometimes when I am having an anxiety attack or going into a depressive state. I can’t always stop it but I do know what’s going on. It has gotten easier, and I promise for you it can get better. It will never go away, that isn’t how this works. I’ll always have to fight this. I know that is not the most encouraging, but it is a sickness that you have, and you have to fight it constantly. You can do this.

For those of you without depression and anxiety, some of those descriptions are what it feels like. It’s scary, and it’s painful and you feel like you have nowhere to turn. It’s hard to be honest with friends and family about what is happening, it took me a long time. There is this stigma about mental illness that it is bad and shouldn’t be talked about. People are judged for having it. Some people think it is made up, I promise you it is not. It is very real. It is very hard to come forward about because society seems to think it is a black mark or something.

I know how it is, and I know it’s possible to get through it. I know it can get better. I just want everyone who deals with this to know, they have support and maybe everyone else can tell that this is real. The things I described are not even the worst of it, it is just part of what people deal with.

 

Friendship · Life · Uncategorized

The Real Side Of Greek Life

It’s not what you see in the movies. It’s not what you expect. It is so much more than that. I will forever be thankful for my sisters. Here’s the thing, when I accepted my bid, I didn’t really know what I was going into. But I’m so glad I did. I instantly gained girls who would support me, who would help me with classes, and who were always there if I needed anything. I know you always hear from the outside its hard to understand, and from the inside it’s hard to explain. It’s true in so many ways. But I’ll try for you.

I was nervous about going Greek, because I had heard all the horror stories. Sorority girls seem to have this negative reputation. I can tell you, not a single person in my chapter ever asked me to do anything I was uncomfortable with, they never forced me to go anywhere, they never forced me to drink or anything. I was loved, and important to them. They wanted me to be there. The chapter was filled with girls who had been in my place before, of being away from home, and not having friends. They know what it is like, and they are there for you.

People don’t talk about the community you build, not just in your chapter but other students in Greek life as well. I still have guys who check in on me who were in fraternities when I was in the sorority, I’ll get a message every few months just making sure I’m all good. It’s the same guys who would step up when drunk kids would try to hit on me at football games or protect me from the creepy guys in class. I could have never imagined I would gain brothers on campus. I am still in contact with girls from other chapters that I met during homecoming, or even during rush.

You never hear about the community service you are involved in either. My chapter made regular visits to the local Ronald McDonald house in Dallas, and had fundraisers for them each year as well. Each sorority supports a different charity, and it was incredible to be able to support each other in that. You knew when you had a fundraiser event, girls from every chapter on campus would be there helping you. Greek life is also active in campus community service days and things like that.

Some people didn’t agree with having mandatory study hours, but it is something you need to have. It forced me to set time aside to actually study and have people hold me accountable for that. The whole reason you are at school is classes, and I think that they did an amazing job making sure we were prepared for success. You should have been studying more than the required hours anyways.

The very real side of Greek life, was I had entered a community where I instantly had support. I could go to the library, and I could find someone I knew to help me. I could go to our house and have someone just to spend time with. I had girls I could text at any point in the day for anything. That became really important for me, as I joined at the same time as I was going through very rough times. They didn’t ever ask me to talk about what I was going through, but they made sure I knew that they were there for me. They will be there through the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, and everything between. I promise you, I could message any of my sisters right now asking for help and they would respond asking what I needed.

Joining a sorority meant that I had a family. I saw these girls three times a week at least, I started making friends instantly. No, you are not going to be best friends with all 50 girls. There is a chance you won’t like everyone in the chapter. But you don’t have to. It is hard to get 50 girls together and like every single one of them. I love all of my sisters, but I had girls I was closer with. That is part of why you have Big/Little and families.

It is so much more love than you could imagine. It means that you have someone to be excited for you when you get your dream job, it means having someone to cry with when you had a bad week. It means having sisters, who will always be there for you. Even after you have moved away, they are there for you.

When they say it is not just for college, but for life, they are right. I moved to a new state and took a new job and I was terrified, and then I realized that I was surrounded by some of my sisters, and honestly it was so comforting. It is something that will be with you for the rest of your life, wherever you go. I’m so grateful for that. It is a bond that I share with women across the world, and there is a joyful little leap your heart does when you find out someone is your sister.

~We Live For Each Other~

 

Life · Uncategorized

Anxiety Attacks

Heart rate up, the world seems like it is spinning, breathing is something you have to think about. But this isn’t my fault, I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want to feel like I have lost control of everything. It is darkness that consumes me. Telling me it is okay doesn’t help much either. It can come across as you being annoyed with me.  Actually, it makes it worse for me because then I freak out that I know I should be okay but I can’t be okay, and that I’m upsetting you because I’m not okay when I should be okay. For some people being told it is okay it helps them. I’m not trying to tell you what to do for everyone who deals with this. It is very different for everyone.

Nothing is rational or makes sense, I physically shake, I feel panicked, everything just starts happening at once and I can’t stay still. I can’t tell you when it is going to happen.  I feel angry, I want to lash out. I want to yell and cry and collapse all at the same time. I want to push everyone away from me. I feel like I’m trapped. I want to scream. My chest is tight. I feel the strong need to reach out to someone, anyone. I want to know someone is there, I need to know someone is there. But I also want to yell at someone, I want to fight. I don’t actually want to fight, but out of nowhere there is this sudden anger. It really scares me and makes me panic more. It’s a hard feeling to explain. It’s like there is a battle going on inside of me, and I can feel it happening, but I can’t control what is happening in the fight.

Making contact with someone is something I try to use so that I can’t tell myself everyone hates me. I like to isolate myself. It’s easier for the darkness to convince me that the world is ending if I don’t reach out to someone. (sorry to the people who get the late-night texts and snapchats from me that don’t make any sense, now you know). I want to know that someone, anyone is there. I know I don’t sound like myself in those texts but I’m afraid.

I know that it is hard to imagine not being able to control thoughts. It’s a confusing concept. People always tell me, oh well just stop. Or just choose to be happy. Or oh calm down you are fine. You should have control over your brain, but you don’t. Honestly it is even hard for me when I’m not having one. It’s so easy to tell myself that everything is okay, until suddenly it’s not. Suddenly no matter how many times I’ve told myself I’m okay, I’m falling apart and things are spinning. It’s honestly a terrifying feeling. It’s something that people judge me for, that I can’t control it, that I have bad anxiety. It’s something people get annoyed with me for which only makes it that much worse.

It feels like your life has stopped, that it is falling apart, that nothing will ever be okay again, that everyone hates you, that you did this to yourself, that it’s your fault. Its not your fault, and things do eventually look better, not everyone hates you. But that doesn’t matter in that moment. It all feels so real. It is terrifying to go through, it is really really hard. For people who don’t live it, it is hard to understand just how bad it is. People treat me like I am crazy when I try to explain it to them.

A few nights ago this happened. From midnight till around 3:30-4am, I was awake. I tossed and turned, got up, walked around. Things that helped- piano music, hot tea, a thick blanket. You know how they make thunder jackets for dogs? It’s the same idea. Being wrapped up in something, preferably something that’s weighted makes me feel safe. Making contact with someone, that way I can prove I’m not alone. I know that after the storm, is the calm. Once the calm hits me physically I start to relax some, the tension and nervous energy starts to fade away. I try to talk through what is happening with close friends so that they can talk me through it. It helps a lot sometimes. I know it is hard for them, because they feel like they aren’t doing anything, but it helps more than they could imagine. I try to feel safe, that’s what the blanket helps, so does my dog. Sometimes I just hold him and cry, and I think he knows I need him to just be there.

From the outside, I know that it isn’t easy for people to watch me go through these kinds of things. I know it is scary and frustrating. Trust me when I say I will be okay. This happens, it is a part of my life. Everyone has different battles to fight and this is one of mine. I know that.

I am okay, I will be okay, and it will be okay. I am not crazy. I am not a worse person because of this. I’m still me. I have said it before and I will say it again, be patient with me.

Disclaimer: I can’t tell you step by step what to do to fix anxiety attacks, or how to avoid them, or anything like that. I can’t tell you what each person is going to experience because everyone is different. I can tell you my experiences with them, what helps, and what it feels like. Some people were probably uncomfortable reading this and I know that. This was written in large part during bad anxiety, before during and after. This is so that the thoughts were as real as possible, which probably freaked some of you out. But maybe, just maybe this helps someone.