Welp, as you may have heard May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve been feeling my heart being pulled lately to share about something that I’ve never shared before on the internet. As always, I want to be real with you guys because well…I’m thirty plus and quite frankly over the trying to be cool phase. I wish I did this sooner — I think my younger self would have appreciated this post and more like it.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I think it started when I was 7 years old when my parents got a divorce. I use to get awful ulcers as a kid and it followed me into adulthood. I would to get these crazy panic attacks that would stop me dead in my tracks – I would get quiet and then feel all the blood rush to my head. In time, I learned that I could “walk off” almost all panic attacks. Fresh air, moving my body, praying and removing myself from the situation did wonders — eventually I would recover and be able to handle the situation like a normal person. Most people couldn’t/can’t see it. In fact I’m really good at internalizing it so I look like I’ve got it all together. Here I am at 33 and I can tell you that though they aren’t as bad, I still feel that anxiety come through…and having my career being put on hold due to this pandemic didn’t help. Realigning goals…pausing dreams…making new dreams…learning new skills…releasing control. All the things I’m sure a lot of you resonate with right now as we all face this “new normal”. It’s a crazy time and I know we all will remember this for the rest of our lives.
I am a big believer in seeking professional help if you need some assistance / AKA: talking to a counselor. I’ve gone to several throughout my life. My mom was always super encouraging about this growing up and I never thought of it as a negative thing. I realized quickly though that some people felt negatively towards therapy and that you had to have something clearly very wrong with you to go. Hopefully you know at this point, that this is not true. You can go for all kinds of reasons – little or small. I personally decided to go back to one after five years of not seeing one, (tele-health) this past month. Between my dog Lincoln getting cancer in January, getting super sick for six weeks in late March (we’re 99% sure it was the ‘rona), my job completely stopping and trips and endless shoots being cancelled, reading the news– seeing the daily death tolls, worried about my parents across the country…It was a lot to handle. I felt so bummed about it all and was really struggling trying to figure out how to pick myself back up while not being allowed to see anyone due to the virus. It was like I was on this really good run headed towards the finish line and then I tripped on something and twisted my ankle. lol That’s the best visual I can give you. Needless to say, one morning with Cameron’s support — he called our insurance and helped me find a good local counselor to talk too. It’s been about a month now and it’s been helping me realign and get my groove back. She’s been giving me homework each week and we’re digging in on coping strategies for me to pick myself back up and not stress out so much.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I’m not sure where you are at right now. But I want you to know you’re not alone. It’s okay to get extra help if you’re feeling extra down. It’s okay to even admit it on social media (surprise guys I struggle with anxiety like millions of others). We’ve got one life on this earth. I want to LIVE mine. I want to be ALL in. I want to be working on myself always and healing the parts of me that are hurting. I want to be kind and show love to others. I want to make people feel included instead of excluded. I want to feel, show, be joy. I want to admit when I’m wrong and apologize. I want to fall on my knees (more often than not) to my almighty Savior and ask for forgiveness.
Life…life is short. I feel like we are seeing it right now more than ever. During this down time I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent thinking about this…
How will I live the one life that I’ve been given?
What really matters in this life?
Cameron and I have talked about this a ton as well. Apparently it’s been on his mind just as much as mine. We’ve also been counting our blessings as we know we are so lucky to be healthy right now.
If you know someone who is going through something similar or better yet are also going through this, I want to encourage you that you are not alone in this. We really are all in this together. This season will pass. The sun will rise and we will all be lifted up out of this weird fog. Hang in there my friend. We’ve got this.
I’m going to try to open up more about my story in this little blog of mine. One life right? Mind as well put some good into the internet webs. I’m virtually hugging each of you. Love love love.