Finally, I promise you that however bad things currently feel they WILL get better. The demons are strong, but YOU are stronger. You CAN do this. I promise you that there is always light at the end of the tunnel - however dark it may be.
TW: References to suicide
If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be publicly posting about my mental health, I’d probably have laughed in your face. Good joke. Or thrown up at the thought of it. Talking about mental health is too terrifying for most of us to even consider, but I promise you, as the common saying goes, it’s better out than in...
For the last few months of my first year of uni, I hid my hurting through a cheery grin. For hours on end, I hid in my room, forcing on a smiley mask whenever I left. Then every time I was behind the privacy of my bedroom door, the mask fell off and I cried myself to sleep. Again, and again, and again. My body was flooded with anxiety every second of every day; panic attacks crept up on me when I least expected them and, most frustratingly, when there was absolutely nothing to panic about.
That’s the funny thing about anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve always been a huge worrier, but it usually has some logic behind it: I’ll panic about meeting a deadline; I’ll be nervous to do a presentation. However, anxiety and panic attacks are a whole different ball game. I’d be chatting away to my best mate or relaxing on my own when the ball of anxiety comes rolling around the corner; ready to ruin the moment. Or I’d be walking to a lecture when alarm bells suddenly start ringing: I feel hot and sweaty; my breath becomes ragged; my hands start to shake - the good old panic attack is underway! Of course, these symptoms vary greatly from person to person, and I know my panic attacks are less frequent and less intense than many others’, but this doesn’t make them any less valid or any less awful