Everyone knows how powerful your mind is, one of the things you learn is that if a person is repeatedly told that they look ill by many different people at many different times, that person will eventually feel ill. It is all about the power the mind has, and the chemicals that are released throughout the body. Lets not forget that the brain is in control of the body. So my question is why is mental health sill looked at as if it is not as important as some other illnesses? Now, I know there are many people jumping in the mental health band wagon but lets be real, unless you have experienced mental health issues, there is no way of understanding how truly difficult it is to live that way. One of the things that really drives me up the wall is when people compare having normal anxiety to someone who deals with a severe anxiety disorder.
I can only share the difficulties I have been through in my life, and I could never compare what I am going though with anyone else's experience. But I have had encounters with people that compare my everyday struggles with the stress of a presentation or an event. Again maybe they do really struggle with the sense of anxiety at those moments but I do feel like it does not compare to the annoyance of living in it ever day of your life with out escape.
I did not grow up with anxiety, like many people my anxiety got triggered by an event or an action that I have not even figured out yet. All I can share with you is what I know and what I have discovered along this crazy journey god has placed me on.
My anxiety started four years ago this month, I remember it was February of 2015 a little over three months until my wedding. At the time I was in school at Concordia University Texas, I was a multidisciplinary major with business and bio. As you can guess my plate was full even though at the time I had absolutely no idea how true that statement was. As I was sitting in one of my classes I felt heat rise from my toes slowly up over my knees all the way out of my head. Right after I felt a cold sensation flow through me in a similar way. Trying not to get too worked up over it I went to the bathroom feeling like I was about to pass out, and I placed a cold rag on the back of my neck. That helped me feel better on my feet but my body still felt off. Thinking I was sick I went home that day. I went home and did not come back for two whole weeks!! Finally after the second week I decided that even though I still felt off i had been away too long from school. Being productive I had kept up with all my work at home so I would not be stressed coming back. Little did I know that, that very moment would be the start of a long journey to come.
The next months went by in a flash of confusion. I felt tired and dizzy, hungry but nauseous, my heart raced all the time. Slept most of the time and even when I was awake I was tired. I would wake up in the middle of that night and force my mom to take me to urgent care because I was sure there was something wrong with my body. I remember on my wedding day I was not able to eat a single thing, which left me feeling even more light headed and tired than I already was. During our honey moon I still felt sick, my stomach was always bloated and I was never hungry, always making sure to force myself to eat to avoid any health issues. It wasn't until we came back that I scheduled an appointment with a doctor that I was finally diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
Flash forward three years later and here I am writing this today. I am still fighting my battle the way I can. I tried "getting over it", I tried medication and neither of those were for me. Today what works are my knowledge of herbs, sticking to a healthy diet, and therapy. I know there is still a long road ahead of me but I really hope I can come out of the other end of this with some knowledge of how I can help others who struggle with the same thing. I was not always this way, I still remember the days before I had anxiety and while I miss those day I realize how much stronger I am today. How strong those people who go through this day in and day out and still hold their head up high are!!