It’s Okay to Not be Okay
TW:// This post involves my battle with anxiety and depression.
The closer I get to graduating college and entering the next phase of my life, the more I find myself battling bouts of anxiety and depression. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m nervous about what’s going to happen next or because I feel like I’m not prepared to really be on my own or what. But I do know that this has been the most challenging time that I have had to deal with as of late.
There was not anything that I’m aware of that triggered me. There was no major shift in my life or anything, it just happened. I can confidently say that about the majority of the month of January involved me dealing with this. A shorty started her 2018 off dealing with this. No bueno. I gradually started feeling more and more negative and anxious about everything.
I have not been formally diagnosed with anything but I do know how I feel. I do know what I’m feeling everyday. [Update: I wrote this post weeks ago, and as of March 27th, I have been diagnosed.] The anxiety is something that I’ve been dealing with for a while, honestly, ever since I could remember. It was never anything major but as of late, it has seemed to heightened. It’s always been something I could just brush off quickly but now, nah. This was different. I began to feel anxious about everything; driving, going to class, if there would be traffic, shopping alone. It’s bad. It would be so bad that sometimes I would not eat in the morning if I had to drive a long distance. I would be so anxious that I would not have an ounce of an appetite. If I had to do anything that was out of the normal or wasn’t pre-planned. And the worst part is, I don’t know where this came from. I do know that my dad has anxiety so maybe it’s hereditary but I’m not sure. But I do know that I am TI-RED OF IT, okay? I am too through with constantly having to deal with it. I would often cover my concerns with laughs and jokes but it’s doing more harm than help.
The depression is something completely different. Something that I had felt before but never this long and without a trigger. I cannot think of anything that got me to this point. Not bragging but my family is great, school is going well, and my relationship is amazing. But I still feel distant from friends, from my job, from blogging. It’s tough. I have tried to pray, I have tried to pull myself out of it on my own but nothing works. Everything had me emotional. The slightest, “are you okay?”, from my mom or boyfriend sends me to tears. It’s sucks but it is my reality. I have friends who think I don’t want to hang out with them or talk to them when in reality I JUST CAN'T. I mentally can’t deal with hearing about other people’s problems or partying when I have a whole bunch going on myself.
I have always been the person who always has their stuff together, or the person that everyone could turn to when they need to vent or advice, so I can understand why most people don’t understand how I have gotten to this point. But I am learning that it is okay to not be okay (word to Kehlani) l. I don’t HAVE to have everything together, I don’t HAVE to be present for everyone.
As of today (Feb. 22nd), I can say that I feel myself improving I am taking steps to consult with a therapist just to see if they see something I don’t and could guide me to overcome what I’ve been dealing with. I don’t want antidepressants and I don’t want anti anxiety medicine. I want coping mechanisms and other ways of overcoming it. Today was the first time (besides my Valentine’s Day weekend) that I woke up, started my day, and genuinely felt good. I don’t really have any thing that I have been doing to improve my days besides reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincers. It helps a lot but of course I still want to speak with someone to continue to improve. I should probably also stay off of social media because it’s not good for your mental health. But I’m working on that one.
Everyday is a battle, but everyday I’m improving. I feel like I have already hit the lowest point and now I’m climbing my way up. It feels so good to be getting better but I never want to get to this point again. Being around my family helps, being around my boyfriend helps even more, and being around my friends who genuinely “get it”, helps too. Going home for a day makes me happy, my Valentine’s Day trip was amazing, so yes I have good days but I also have really bad days. I don’t self harm, I don’t have suicidal thoughts or anything. I don’t want this post to be for sympathy, or for anyone to treat me differently. I just want people to understand. The people in your lives may be going through hard times, if you want to help just make sure they know you’re there for them.
It’s okay to not be okay. There is nothing wrong with not having EVERYTHING together all the time. You don’t HAVE to be there for everyone all of the time. You are your #1 concern in your life. Always look out for #1 and don’t be afraid to seek help. Therapists do not equal crazy. Don’t be able afraid to take time and efforts to care for yourself. I hope this post helps someone. Maybe I said too much, maybe I didn’t say enough but I said what I felt. I love you guys.
Update: Today is March 28th. I can say that the depression has not been prevalent in my life for the last 2-3 weeks and I am feeling so much better than when I wrote this initially. Yesterday, I went to speak with a Licensed Professional Counselor and this was the first time that I have ever sought professional help. I can say that having someone to speak to who knows the ins and outs of what you're dealing with was amazingly refreshing. She asked me about my background, when I started feeling the depression & anxiety, and what I have done to combat these feelings. Nothing took her by surprise, nothing seemed like it was shocking or crazy to her which made me feel so much more comfortable. My current task after meeting her is to practice deep breathing everyday for 5 minutes, and to exercise 3-4 times a day just to see what kind of effect it has on my daily life between now and my next appointment with her. I'm super excited to start this new journey. Much love to you all.
The Urban Gypsy