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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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