Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 51

This is the 51st story of the Mental Illness Recovery. Nikuya is determined to live life to the fullest, and is positive that one day she will completely overcome her mental disorders. This is her story:

Photo from: Nikuya
Photo from: Nikuya

Nikuya is from Kentucky, USA and she enjoys music, it’s her favorite pastime. She also is fond of makeup and art. Her current goal is to finish the second semester of freshman year in University. Nikuya wants to be a first generation college graduate. Not only that, but she would love to travel for a year before settling down. She was diagnosed and still has depression, general anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and body dysmorphia disorder. Nikuya believes the root of her mental illnesses are family and society related.

She has received therapy before, but is currently on 2 medications. Nikuya dealt with various symptoms, feeling extreme fear, self-hatred, and incredible sadness. She said, “The fear was so debilitating I couldn’t breathe sometimes, my entire body would shiver like I was cold, and I could be under 3 covers and feel like I’m freezing.” The depression kept her locked in, Nikuya said, ‘I had no motivation, and wanted to sleep all the time. Having both was hell, because the anxiety kept me going, with the fear of failure if I didn’t.” Nikuya had a difficult time maintaining calm due to her PTSD, she would become agitated if she had an argument with family or close friends.

Image found at:
Image found at:

This affected her daily life tremendously. Nikuya lost interest to study during high school. Not only that, but she became distant from her friends, and had difficulty making new ones. She stayed in an abusive relationship because it felt like it gave her structure. Nikuya said, “He was controlling, and I let it happen, because my self-esteem was so low I didn’t feel like getting out of it.” She considered suicide before, but never attempted it. She has also self-harmed, but is proud to be 6 months clean.

This made her feel trapped, sad, and desperate to make someone understand but was unwilling to explain. Nikuya struggled to maintain control, she said, “My breaking point was during freshman year in high school. I was contemplating suicide, researching painless ways to do it, and how I could get everyone out of my house so I could be found, instead of caught and stopped.” She uses grounding techniques to control her mental disorders. Nikuya said, “I use YouTube, because there’s meditative videos I use to calm down.” Nikuya’s mother put her in counseling and her grandparents were supportive. She said, “I currently have a boyfriend who is the most supportive human being ever, and I love him for it. My sister and brother were also supportive, they love me too much to see me hurt myself any more than I already have.”

She learned to not let her mind control everything she does, say and react to. She realized she is more than her mental illness. This has changed her outlook, Nikuya said, “I can look at life differently than others, and I’ve been told I’m an “old soul”. This experience aged me, mentally and some aspects physically, and it changed my outlook on life because I am now trying to be as positive as I can instead of letting all the negativity control how I live my life.”

This is her advice for other’s struggling with similar situations:

“Don’t believe what your anxiety tells you all the time, because sometimes, fear isn’t real, it isn’t relevant, and everything really is okay. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone, and just because I found mine and still struggle doesn’t mean I haven’t won, because I have. You will win too, you will find your light, and can dance in the sun when you get there, and it isn’t far away. You can do it, and never, ever give in. You are loved and cared for.

Nikuya’s advice is a great one to follow, I admire her ambition to move forward. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

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