Odyssey Impact: A Personal Story On Anxiety Sparks An Important Viral Conversation

Odyssey Impact: A Personal Story On Anxiety Sparks An Important Viral Conversation

Bridgette Borden's account of her anxiety disorder was shared more than 1.5 million times.
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Talking about mental illness is no easy feat, let alone writing about your own experience, but University of North Alabama Odyssey creator Bridgette Borden did just that.

Borden, who was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder three years ago, was startled awake one night by a severe anxiety attack. Just moments later, she decided to channel her energy into writing and created a post on Odyssey about her experience.

“I finished that article in about 10 minutes and it just completely flew out of me,” Borden said. “I wanted to give people an idea of what it’s like to have anxiety and what goes on inside my mind. It’s not just because I have a final tomorrow. It doesn’t have an explanation, it’s uncontrollable.”

Her story, which now has 1.5 million shares, reached a global audience. She was receiving comments and direct messages from people all over the world thanking her for writing.

“People from Australia and England were messaging me telling me how much of a difference that made in their lives, and I was in tears,” Borden said. “The reason why I joined Odyssey wasn’t just to inform the world, I wanted to make a difference in one person’s life. That would just validate the reason why I was writing.”


Finding a healthy outlet to cope with anxiety was not initially easy for Borden. “I had a psychiatrist, but then she referred me to a therapist who helped me deal with the irritability and anger outbursts.” Borden was baffled to find that symptoms she had thought were normal were actually telltale signs of anxiety.

“As it turns out, not one person is the same when it comes to anxiety,” Borden said. “She helped me find ways to channel that anger and deal with my anxiety and writing was one of those. So when I heard about the opportunity to write for Odyssey, I jumped on it.”

Borden’s post digs deep into her daily struggles and the unwavering fact that anxiety doesn’t just go away—it’s a constant battle to make better decisions.

This depression is the worst part. It causes me to want to space myself from the world and everyone around me. It causes me to feel alone with my illness, and it will cause me to be too terrified to talk those that are closest to me about what it is that I need from them. I feel needy, and I'm repulsed. But I can't help it.

Within hours of going live, Borden’s post on anxiety gained unbelievable traction.

“The night it was posted, it went from 200 shares to 1,000. Every hour it would go up by thousands, it was crazy. I was freaking out,” Borden said.

Borden utilized her article to further advocate for those suffering from anxiety, and more importantly, to let them know that they are not alone.

“Don’t let it define who you are. Don’t let it keep you from doing something about it, be proactive about it,” Borden said. “Instead of using it as an excuse, use it as your strength, think of all the things you’ve overcome. You are you, you’re beautiful the way you are, with your chemical imbalance and all.”

Cover Image Credit: Anastazja Stanowska

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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