This is the 57th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous hit rock bottom, and decided to get help. This is her story.
Anonymous is from Canada and she is currently finishing a bachelor degree in psychology. She does theatre, dance, and loves performing. She is also an avid reader and is working her way through the classics. Anonymous wants to create a life that she is in love with, surrounded by wonderful, supportive people. Her goal is start her future career. Anonymous has different disorders, she said, “I struggle with anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).” There are different factors that might have contributed to her mental illnesses, she said, “There are some possible causes, my dad has certainly had his struggles with anxiety, and I was in a relationship with a guy who was terrible for my sense of self-worth.”
Anonymous has dealt with various symptoms that affected her daily life. She said, “I was suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, spiraling negative thoughts, and was destructible. When late fall hits, it becomes really hard to get out of bed in the morning (sleep disturbances), I’m easily irritated, my self-esteem goes way down, and I will cry for no good reason. That lasts until about early spring.” Her anxiety attacks made it difficult to concentrate during class. Not only that, but it was hard for anonymous to associate with people due to constant negative thoughts. She said, “I thought I was useless and I wouldn’t amount to anything because my grades were lower than they had been in high school. I also constantly thought I wasn’t trying hard enough in my relationship with my now-ex. He made me feel as though my efforts were never good enough, he would tell me that the way I acted was stupid, so I would think it was and try to change it.”
Anonymous never seriously considered suicide, but the idea did come up in her mind every now and then. Most people had no idea about the struggles anonymous when through because she rarely spoke anything negative. Due to this she would withdraw from people because of the fear of not being liked. This made anonymous feel incredibly frustrated, she said, “I couldn’t seem to just “snap out of it”, I felt trapped in my relationship with my then-boyfriend, trapped in what seemed to be a never ending cycle of anxiety and frustration, and frustrated that I felt so sad and frustrated when there are millions of people on earth who have it worse than me.”
The turning point for anonymous was when she started getting anxiety attacks in the classroom, that’s when she decided to get help. She has been able to control her anxiety and SAD, with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) from a registered psychologist. She maintains control by catching her negative patterns on time and finding things to do with the people she loves. Anonymous also exercises, forces herself to take a step back when needed, and asks for help. She now sees herself in a positive way by reminding herself that she is smart and worthy of being cared about exactly as she is.
Anonymous parents made a huge difference by helping her pay for therapy, and would constantly ask where she was emotionally. Her friends would lend a shoulder to cry on, and made sure she has something to look forward to. Her perspective has changed she said, “The biggest lesson I would say I learned was about self-acceptance, understanding that there’s some things about yourself that you can’t change, and that’s okay.” Anonymous is now firm with who she is, and doesn’t let the opinions of others rule her life. She has become integrated, allowing both highs and lows.
This is her advice for others struggling with similar situations:
“My suggestion is to seek help from a professional, and create a loving and understanding support system that will push you to be the best that you can be and accepts you as you are.
She would also like to share this:
“While I’m in an infinitely better place than I was when I first sought help two years ago, I still have bad days. I don’t know if the bad days will ever disappear completely, but I know that it’s part of the process and it won’t last forever.”
Anonymous has been able to control her mental disorders, by accepting help. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.