Alright, as I mentioned in the first post I have been putting off a lot of projects over the years for whatever reason. As it is a habit of mine I have also put off this post. The first one where I get into some real talk. For a couple of days I've known that sooner or later you might want to know how all this information and advice came to be which meant telling some stories about my personal life. This is where I meet my challenge and open up to let you in. In doing this I hope it gives you some background knowledge on my experiences and myself, I hope that you find things that you connect to and know that you are not alone.
When I was younger I knew that I was different. Sure some of it was because of how I chose to dress but most of it was inside my mind. In Jr. high I noticed that progressively I was having darker thoughts about myself. I hung out with a group of people who were constantly shutting themselves and their bodies down. If you like to put labels on things these would be your typical emo kids. While I didn't wear heavy eyeliner or wear black from head to toe, I was attracted to these people. I wanted to love them and somehow in being so involved in their lives I had also reflected them into mine. I remember crying a lot, writing down scary thoughts and unconventionally harming myself. I had no idea if I really had depression or not and when trying to explain it to doctors, I was basically told that I should watch what I say because I could end up in a ward. As a young teenager this scared the crap out of me so I didn't look for a diagnosis. I decided to call it depression on my own. I read many resources, watched some friends go through it and gave it a name. I also thought I could grow out of it or that it wouldn't show up to that degree again.
A couple years later in high school, I started dating someone who I was very attached to. He quickly became the center of everything for me. We spent an entire summer sleeping at a mutual friends house and helping their family clean up the house (they really needed the extra hands). I'm not really sure how it started but there we were every day cleaning together. We bonded over being Spanish and loving food. We shared some special moments and were together all the time. Then I noticed that when I was on the bus sometimes I would get hot and dizzy and panic. This started happening more often and I started to feel afraid. I explained it to my then boyfriend and he said it sounded like anxiety. I barely knew what that meant until I looked into it and sure enough that name was added to my list. During this time I was so anxious that I didn't want to leave my house. There were a couple months that I refused to take transit in fear of another panic attack and I would not hang out with anyone unless someone was driving. I became sensitive to lights and would wear sunglasses whenever I went to the grocery store because it was all too much for me. I kept dating this guy for a while and he would spend every night at my house because I felt safe with him around. He pretty much lived at my house from then on. I became dependent on him for comfort and when he would go out and not come home I would panic. One of my most vivid lows of having anxiety was one of these nights. He said he would be back and didn't answer any calls or texts so I began to worry. I thought the very worst and then it all went out of control. My nervous system had taken over and left me in a ball on the floor. Finally I got the idea to grab my journal and started to write it out. That was a long night for me but in the end I made it.
It took me a long time to see that my anxiety and depression were valid and intimately related. As some of you may know, that was not the only low I have had because these things come in unpredictable waves sometimes. There have been many long nights of feeling scared, lost and dark and many long days of feeling the same. I am not going to say that now having gone through these things I am all better and live in a castle with Elsa and Ana in Canada somewhere but I will say that the best thing I have done is learn about myself and about how mental illness happens in my body. The best thing I have done is work my ass off trying to find out what to do and how to get to where I want to be. I am continuously finding balance, love, light, peace and happiness and you know what? They exist.
I realize that each and every individual experiences things differently, that some of you may be going through a rough time and others are feeling light but what I encourage us all to do is keep listening to our bodies and continue finding ways to make it all work. Mental illness does not equal hardship and a bad life. It means that we are the feelers and lovers, that we appreciate bliss and happiness and that we are just as strong as anyone. We have the power to create our own paths and that is ever beautiful.
Thank you so much for taking time to read this post as it is a vulnerable place for me. Hopefully you know that you are not alone in what you feel, someone else is on the other end of this screen who relates completely to you and if you ever have any questions, please inbox me!!
p.s I am no master, not a Doctor or a Counselor this stuff all comes from a genuine place and understanding in my own experiences and the experiences of those which I have witnessed. I am 100% human and still learning!
All the Love and Light,