Learning to take a deep breath
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Health and Wellness

Learning to take a deep breath

My story on how I have overcome hardships.

Learning to take a deep breath

This week I was in a funk due to midterms and the seasons changing. I am not shy to admit that yes, I go to see a therapist and yes this week I saw her twice. If I can help at least one person with understanding stigma surrounding mental health than I will be happy as a clam, but for now here is a glimpse into my story...

I have become passionate about our mental health and how it affects our bodies when one goes through stress, depression, anxiety, and panic. Statistics show that 10% of teenagers today suffer from anxiety disorders and depression, It is something that one should not be ashamed to talk about.

Summer had just begun, and my mother had flown out to Ohio on a business trip. I drove mom to the airport and as we waved goodbye, I silently screamed in my mind, wanting to bash my head against the steering wheel. That night, I stopped eating healthy meals and staying hydrated for a whole week. I would lie to my grandma when I would get home each night, saying that I had already eaten out. I ate chips or leftover birthday cake. That week I would cry constantly, I was irritable, and then I started having hallucinations. This was all a factor of anxiety. Wednesday, June 17th was by far my worst day. It was my best friend’s birthday and I drove over to her house. I had not showered in a week, I was sleep deprived, barely eating and pretty much became a walking zombie.

My mom flew back Friday morning to find me at my worst. She immediately took me to the doctor where I weighed a gaunt 89 pounds. I spent five days in the hospital and was diagnosed with a panic disorder due to depression and severe anxiety. After this scary experience, I vowed to never let another hospital stay related to this ever happen again. I was confident in changing my life for the better. I also did not realize how anxiety and depression were linked together. I had both, but with the help of great friends, a supportive family, and positive role models I have been able to conquer the bulk of it.

My best friend has been with me through my worst days and a mantra she once told me is, “You are okay, just Breathe” I repeat this to myself in the event of panic attack. Another word that has helped me is “Forward”. I first learned about “Forward” when my role model Hoda Kotb battled breast cancer. She wrote about it in her book that no matter what struggles you are facing, it’s important to move “Forward”. In the long run, the struggles you are facing will make you a better person. I know they have made me a stronger person, and I am passionate about helping others and bringing awareness to mental health. It has opened my heart and I now plan on dedicating time to helping those who struggle with mental health disorders.

I always emphasize how I struggled with perfectionism. I could not stand having anything imperfect, everything down to my parking. Stress, perfectionism, and worrying are common symptoms of anxiety. I have found that the key to all of this is that it can be controlled. One day, I woke up and smiled. I told myself, that, “Today was going to be a good day!” I vowed that day to think positively and go out and try something new. That week, I started doing yoga, learning how to cook, and writing in a journal.

Mother Teresa once said, “Spread Love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” These are simple, empowering words I live by; it gives me the power to help the world even if it is only one person at a time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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