You are not alone

Mental illness – depression, anxiety, eating disorders – are difficult to talk about, but I want to talk about it.

Before the pandemic, I already was diagnosed with anxiety along with other disorders. I was always the quiet kid in the back of the class. I was always ready to go back home. There were times where even going back home wasn’t a relief from escaping reality, my thoughts, my worries, my fears. 

I dealt with a lot during the pandemic – having to take care of all 5 kids myself while my dad risked his health just to go to work to provide for us. Not only that, but having to balance my time for school wasn’t easy. There were times I’d have to set my schoolworkaside to assist my siblings. 

This pandemic was a roller coaster, but it made me grow as a person. It made me realize many things and one thing for sure is accepting myself as who I am. To accept that I am a human and we all have our imperfections but that shouldn’t stop us from pushing ourselves to be better people. I know I’m not going through this alone. There are other individuals in this campus who are going through this. Which makes me comfortable about speaking about my perspective of how I cope and deal with anxiety. 

Transitioning back into school in person was a challenge having to interact with people and, actually having to have a conversation with them. Before you could have avoided it but now it’s impossible to run away from that. Due to this drastic change my anxiety as well as other disorders have been horrible. Having to go out in public is a challenge for me to face the world and have to make a conversation with someone, and not over the phone or a call is truly difficult to me. Being around new people is something I avoided, but now since they opened the school it’s completely impossible to do that. There’s always a day you have to interact with someone and there’s no escaping to that. 

I have been improving my social skills which is a good thing right? Yet there are days I struggle with talking to someone I just want to burst out the door and hide. Every day is a struggle. There are times I don’t even want to get out of my bed. Before the pandemic I was still struggling with controlling my emotions and figuring out how to cope with my anxiety and other disorders. 

I came to the conclusion that this won’t go away. A piece of advice from my therapist (and many others) is that patience is a key to happiness. Therapy is something new to me. I’ve never done it before. It’s only been a couple of months I’d say. My first session was something terrifying because it’s hard for me to open up to people about my situation, but talking to her made me see things more clearly. 

I’ve learned to grow as a person with all of the obstacles that I’ve faced. It’s a journey but just know you aren’t alone. Although there are times you do feel that way, reach out for help from your loved ones, and make your bond stronger. There are many others going through the same thing as me, and It’s okay to reach out for help. It’s okay to talk to someone about your feelings. Why? Because it’s important and you matter.