My Story for #BellLetsTalk Day
To be quite honest, I don’t really know how to talk about my anxiety. It is a hard, complicated thing for me. For years, I’ve struggled with it. I thought it controlled my life and that it was something I would never be able to beat.
I could spend all day going on about what my anxiety did to me and the awful stuff I went through for 12 years, while I was trying to deal with it. There have been times when I’ve wanted to give up, and times when I wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits because sometimes, no matter what you do, it just never felt like it would ever get better.
For me, my anxiety was not just this mental illness that cast a shadow over every part of my life but something else, something else causing all these awful feelings and thoughts inside me. It was something that had haunted me for years that I was just not willing or ready to deal with yet.
This post is about that. This post is about what led to me getting through my anxiety and getting to a place where I could manage it on my own and let it control my life no longer. Today is about talking and sharing and showing that there is no shame in having mental health issues or struggling with things beyond your control, so I am going to talk about it.
I was sexually molested and abused from the ages of 8–11 by someone I knew and trusted.
That is a sentence I’ve never said out loud before. That is a sentence I did not think I would ever put in words for everyone to see and hear. But here we are.
That is what led to my years of anxiety and depression and was something that I did not deal with until 6 months ago. 6 months ago was when I had a mental breakdown from carrying the weight of what happened to me (and all of the anxiety and depression that came with it) for 10 years.
I did not get help overnight. Hell, it took me 3 years to come to terms with what had happened before I could even consider telling anyone or getting myself help. I continued to struggle with my anxiety as it got worse but I realized that it was okay not to hide it. It was okay that I struggled and sure enough, I started to realize I was not alone.
It surprised me how much people cared. It surprised me that no one saw me any differently because of my anxiety, or my past with abuse. For me, talking to people helped. I found a good therapist, I started talking more, I started opening up more, and I realized my past and my anxiety don’t define me. That is why I am writing this today, because what happened to me does not define who I am as a person. I am stronger than my anxiety and I am more powerful than the abuse.
I want people to see and to know that I am okay and that getting through whatever you are going through is always possible. There will be days where it does not feel like it and there will be days where it does not seem worth fighting anymore, but I assure you that it is always worth it and it is always possible to find help and to get better. If my post helps even one person today then writing this and telling you all my story will have been worth it.
Happy #BellLetsTalk day.