Doing something a little different this week.
The major focus of this blog is to help encourage/aid people in their recovery from mental illness. If you don’t struggle with mental illness yourself, its likely you know someone who does, so an awareness/appreciation of what they go through is healthy for both parties.
As such, I had the idea to invite friends of mine to occassionally do guest posts here, allowing them to share their story, instead of just hearing from me all the time.
This is something I’m super excited about, and today marks the beginning of this initiative. As such, I’m thrilled to present this first guest post, so graciously written by my good friend, Macon Clement.
So, check out what she has to say, and leave her some love.
Thanks all, and catch ya later!
I have been invited by Andy to do a guest entry for his blog. I was hesitant at first, as I loathe writing. But because he is a good friend I thought I would take the plunge and share my story about my anxiety and other mental health issues that I battle with daily. It’s also possible that this probably would be therapeutic, and my therapist would say “go for it.”
Anywho, where to start? I suppose an introduction wouldn’t hurt.
I am studying science at my local community college to eventually transfer to a four-year university to study meteorology. I am curious about many things and have been fascinated with nature and how things work. I also have a few mental health issues that make every day seem like there is a battle going inside my head. Some days I can be happy and full of energy. Other days I am a ball of anxiety and it’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. My anxiety comes from a mixture of General Anxiety Disorder, Aspergers, which means I am a high functioning autistic. I also have this little-known disorder called, Disorder of Written Expression: What it basically boils down to is that I have difficulty processing information I just read, how to summarize it, and at the same time, trying to form all those thoughts into proper sentences.
My anxiety does give me hard time; I have gradually gotten better at controlling it, but it is a battle most days. I have tried many ways to get a better handle on it: I changed my diet, and started meditation/mindfulness, and started exercising in the morning. I do some journaling which helps get those pesky thoughts out on paper to get me see what my thoughts are and why they are bothering me. Writing poetry about my anxiety is also therapeutic. You name it, I’ve tried it. I am currently working through a Mindfulness Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MCBT) workbook. We shall see it if works.
If you’re out there suffering from anxiety, try any method, or techniques that will help ease your pain, so that you can enjoy life more. Sitting and sulking in anxiety and misery without trying anything for relief, can be miserable. You deserve better. I’ll bet you are an awesome person just waiting to spread your wings to make the world a better place. 😊
One of my classes has been particularly difficult this semester and has caused me much anxiety. It is Calculus III. Also known as Multivariable Calculus. It’s basically Calculus I but in three dimensions. I need this class, and other math classes to transfer. When I have a tough day in math class, my mind yells at me and says “you’re not good enough. This math isn’t for you; you had a bad day, so this means you suck at math.” Which is simply not true. I have had terrible horrible days in math in college before, and I made it through. It has always been a battle of the fight or flight instinct. Many times I have considered dropping the class because my anxiety was telling me to run from a difficult course. Because when times get tough, I want to run far from those tough times. I want to crawl under the covers of my bed and never come out. I want to run away. I eventually pull through and come back to my senses. I tell myself I have come too far to give up now. I started in developmental math classes and worked my way up. I used to despise math. I have learned to love it. It is fascinating, and I couldn’t have been more wrong about it. When I read the book The Magic of Math, by Arthur Benjamin, was I think, the moment I fell in love with math. Or as the Mean Girls Broadway musical puts it, I have “calculust”.
There was one particular moment this semester in that class that really was, and is, a hard pill for me to swallow. It was tough to come back from this moment. I failed a math test. I mean I was devastated. I thought, “well there goes my GPA, down the toilet. You suck at math. Why do you even bother with this stuff? You can never be a good meteorologist if you failed a test.” I was upset. It felt like a huge blow to whatever confidence I had to start with. I wanted to kill myself. Sadly, that thought came to me. I wanted to go get in my car and deliberately drive off the road. I wanted to do that just because I failed a test. I didn’t do it, my anxiety stopped me. The good kind. It told me that people love me, even if I know it or not, and that I still have to become a meteorologist and save people from the path of severe weather.
To all of you anxious people out there, never give up. Don’t let your anxiety tell you what you can and cannot do. Don’t let your anxiety rule your mind. Yes, it is difficult most days, or a few, but you can do it. If you have made it through difficult times before—you can do it again! Always believe that you can do anything. Believe in yourself and your abilities. If we let our anxiety control us, what are we missing out on in the world? What new adventures could we have missed out on? Most importantly, be fearless. But be fearless with common sense, don’t just like go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
I will leave you with a quote that has been helping me lately.
“You are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, you are smarter than you think, and you are loved more than you know.” – Christopher Robin.
Hope everyone has a fantastic day!