You have to want to help yourself
A story for those who thought they knew me...
I have been diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety....Oh, and social anxiety, but who didn't know that?
Most of my family does not know this, and most of my friends do not know this...
I had some signs for awhile that were just screaming depression and anxiety, but I kind of just brushed it all off. But then I went through a rough few months... I was sleeping ALL the time, I did not want to get out of bed, I was overeating, I felt worthless.... It got to a point where I thought to myself “I do not want to live like this anymore...”. So, I went to my doctor and a therapist, and both said the same thing:
“You have major depression and generalized anxiety.”
Now, I always knew I had social anxiety... I mean really anyone who knew anything about anxiety could clearly see that that is what was going on with me. I couldn't even say hi to people that I knew for over 2 years because I feared their judgment... maybe they were having a bad day and my “hi” would just make it that much worse... I always assumed the worst. I didn't know how to socialize or make new friends because I was constantly anxious about it.
My depression? Had me overeating, sleeping and not being able to find the motivation for, well, anything. I kept failing classes in college, my GPA was down the drain, I was skipping classes, I was calling out of work. I just couldn’t do anything, I didn’t WANT to do anything.
So, I got help... it has been roughly 3 months now, and I have changed a lot. It was hard at first, and I lost some friends along the way. But now? Now I socialize a lot more. I say hi to people first. I make jokes (well my version of jokes), and I have a few new friends. I talk a lot more- enough for people to notice the difference. People who I was always awkward around? I now have a bunch of conversations with them. Anxiety is still there, but I have changed - for the better, and it is one of the greatest things. Instead of letting my anxiety control every day, I fight against it.
I now sit here thinking “how did I go so long hardly speaking to anyone?” because I really enjoy socializing now. I still am not comfortable with strangers, but people I see at work or in school a lot, it is easier to talk with them. There are still the anxious thoughts, but I can push past them more often, now.
What I learned is that you have to take your mental health, and take your life, take getting better, into your own hands. You have the power to change your life around, and you have to want to help yourself. Because once you do, and once you go and start getting help, life will change for the better. It will be hard at first, maybe even REALLY hard, but stick with it and you will find change... change that will make you happy.
I still have depression, I still have anxiety.... I still have really hard days, but I also have good days now. Good days that I wasn’t having for awhile.
So, if you ever knew me growing up... I was never shy. Everyone thought I was shy... everyone! I knew I wasn’t because I knew my personality, but at the time even I started believing it. But really? I was just a girl who was extremely anxious... but never knew I had anxiety. Which shaped my life a lot. When you have anxiety growing up and you do not know you have it... you learn to live this life where you hardly talk, even to your own family members, you love to stay in, stay in bed.... You lack learning small talk and how to make conversation... you suddenly become an adult, learn you have anxiety and have to learn things that should have been learned as you grew up... like small talk and making conversation.
Some days I just want to be in denial... but then I remember that accepting it will lead me towards getting help and getting better. If you deny your mental illness then you really cannot get better.