I Will Not Let Overthinking Get The Best Of Me

I Will Not Let Overthinking Get The Best Of Me

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.
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There are days when I wish there was a switch. A switch in my mind just to shut off the extra thoughts fluttering about, throwing things around that I don't necessarily need in my life. But the thing is, our mind isn't a room, and we can't just shut off the light when we are done with what we are doing, leaving it an empty room.

Our minds are always working and mine, unlike some, tends to work overtime in the thought process. Yes, we all have anxiety, but extra thoughts come into play that may not even be true. It's true that overthinking ruins you. It creates situations that are not there or play off of things that are happening, creating more stress and anxiety. It makes you worry more than you should and makes you scared in a sense.

What if this person/people don't like me?

What if I fail or failed that test?

What if I made a mistake?

The list could go on, but we all wish in these moments that we wish it was as simple as a switch.

In realizing that overthinking was doing more harm then good, I realized I wouldn't let it get the best of me.

In doing so, I realized that these thoughts of negativity have to be shut off, in some way, shape or form. It sounds cliché, but in wishing for a light switch to turn off the thoughts, I should have been wishing for a light switch to turn on to wipe away the thoughts. I realized that positivity, though it can be difficult, is really the only way to get rid of these thoughts. Whether it is music, friends, or watching a good movie, this switch can make the darkness disappear... and that is what anyone who overthinks has to remember.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/464996730254140929/?lp=true

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Yes, I Had A Stroke And I'm Only 20

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
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Recently, I read an article on Cosmo that was written by a woman that had a stroke at the ripe old age of 23. For those of you who don't know, that really doesn't happen. Young people don't have strokes. Some do, but it's so incredibly uncommon that it rarely crosses most people's minds. Her piece was really moving, and I related a lot -- because I had a stroke at 20.

It started as a simple headache. I didn't think much of it because I get headaches pretty often. At the time, I worked for my parents, and I texted my mom to tell her that I'd be late to work because of the pain. I had never experienced a headache like that, but I figured it still wasn't something to worry about. I went about my normal routine, and it steadily got worse. It got to the point that I literally threw up from the pain. My mom told me to take some Tylenol, but I couldn't get to our kitchen. I figured that since I was already in the bathroom, I would just take a shower and hope that the hot steam would relax my muscles, and get rid of my headache. So I turned the water on in the shower, and I waited for it to get hot.

At this point, I was sweating. I've never been that warm in my life. My head was still killing me. I was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, trying to at least cope with the pain. Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I picked up my phone to call 911, but I couldn't see the screen. I couldn't read anything. I laid down on the floor and tried to swipe from the lock screen to the emergency call screen, but I couldn't even manage that. My fine motor skills were completely gone. My fingers wouldn't cooperate, even though I knew what buttons needed to be pressed. Instead of swiping to the emergency call screen, I threw my phone across the room. "Okay," I thought, "Large muscle groups are working. Small ones are not".

I tried getting up. That also wasn't happening. I was so unstable that I couldn't stay standing. I tried turning off the running water of the shower, but couldn't move the faucet. Eventually, I gave up on trying to move anywhere. "At what point do I just give up and lie on the floor until someone finds me?" That was the point. I ended up lying on the floor for two hours until my dad came home and found me.

During that two hours, I couldn't hear. My ears were roaring, not even ringing. I tried to yell, but I couldn't form a sentence. I was simply stuck, and couldn't do anything about it. I still had no idea what was going on.

When the ambulance finally got there, they put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the back. "Are you afraid of needles or anything?" asked one EMT. "Terrified," I responded, and she started an IV without hesitation. To this day, I don't know if that word actually came out of my mouth, but I'm so glad she started the IV. She started pumping pain medicine, but it didn't seem to be doing anything.

We got to the hospital, and the doctors there were going to treat me for a migraine and send me on my merry way. This was obviously not a migraine. When I could finally speak again, they kept asking if I was prone to migraines. "I've never had a migraine in my whole life," I would say. "Do you do any drugs?" they would ask. "No," I repeated over and over. At this point, I was fading in and out of consciousness, probably from the pain or the pain medicine.

At one point, I heard the doctors say that they couldn't handle whatever was wrong with me at our local hospital and that I would need to be flown somewhere. They decided on University of Maryland in Baltimore. My parents asked if I wanted them to wait with me or start driving, so I had them leave.

The helicopter arrived soon after, and I was loaded into it. 45 minutes later, I was in Baltimore. That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital two weeks later. I had a drain in my head, a central port, and an IV. I honestly didn't know what had happened to me.

As it turns out, I was born with a blood vessel malformation called an AVM. Blood vessels and arteries are supposed to pass blood to one another smoothly, and mine simply weren't. I basically had a knot of blood vessels in my brain that had swelled and almost burst. There was fluid in my brain that wouldn't drain, which was why my head still hurt so bad. The doctors couldn't see through the blood and fluid to operate, so they were simply monitoring me at that point.

When they could finally see, they went in to embolize my aneurysm and try to kill the AVM. After a successful procedure, my headache was finally starting to subside. It had gone from a 10 on the pain scale (which I don't remember), to a 6 (which was when I had started to be conscious), and then down to a 2.

I went to rehab after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to rehab. There, I learned simple things like how to walk and balance, and we tested my fine motor skills to make sure that I could still play the flute. Rehab was both physically and emotionally difficult. I was constantly exhausted.

I still have a few lingering issues from the whole ordeal. I have a tremor in one hand, and I'm mostly deaf in one ear. I still get headaches sometimes, but that's just my brain getting used to regular blood flow. I sleep a lot and slur my words as I get tired. While I still have a few deficits, I'm lucky to even be alive.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

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Don't Do This Alone

it's okay to ask for help!

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I always hear people saying "anxiety and depression aren't real, it's all in your head." I just want to point out that it's not made up, it's a real thing and people struggle from it every day!

People just like you and I struggle from this every day, it might not seem like it, on the outside, but on the inside, they are so broken. People sit here and wonder why there are so many suicides and things like that, it's because no one takes the time to actually get to know someone and what they are going through.

People never take the time to fully understand someone with these issues and sometimes these people never get the help they need or get left out of friend groups because of these issues. They find out you have anxiety and depression and all of a sudden you are weird and this and that.

Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions - just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.

Many people think of depression (MDD) as simply being sad, but it is actually a much more complex medical condition and everybody's experience of it is unique. Part of what makes depression complex is that people with the condition experience multiple symptoms. Depression includes emotional, physical, and cognitive symptoms.

I know i personally struggle with these two things on a daily basis. It is not made up, I can promise you that! They are very hard things to deal with. I know what it's like to not be understood and to be left out. It really sucks when you are in a room full of people and feeling so alone. Or sitting there having so much to say and not having anyone to talk to about it!

I personally try not to let my emotions show on the outside, but it's not always easy dealing with these things so it's hard to not show my emotions sometimes.

I saw this post on facebook today that said, "Reminder to ANYONE that my house will always be a safe zone. Coffee can be put on in minutes, or if you prefer tea, soda, or alcohol, no problem. I will always be available - even if we haven't talked in a while. Even if you think it's weird. Text me, call me, message me, anything. I will be there. I am always a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Nothing is worse than being alone and going through things alone."

It reminded me that it's okay not to be okay all the time! It's really important to be there for others, some of us need all the help and support we can get even if it's just a friendly hi, how are you doing kind of conversation. Let them know you are there for them!

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