Hand in Hand: My Journey with Mental Health

Trigger Warning: Hey guys I’m going to throw a trigger warning in right here. The following is my experience with mental health and will include things like anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and rape. Please do not read if any of those make you uncomfortable or bring you to a low point in your life. I am aiming to talk about my mental health not to trigger someone else’s. 

I sit on the bed as thoughts race through my mind. It’s always the worst scenarios but something in me makes me think that it’s the only scenario. My stomach hurts, sending sharp pains all throughout my body, I feel nauseous. Then comes the throbbing in my head, like nails being hammered straight into my skull, each negative thought making the nails go deeper. The world starts to spin around me and I feel dizzy until finally I get up only to make my way to the bathroom to get rid of the nausea.

This is what it feels like when my anxiety begins and it only gets worse from there, sometimes these can last seconds, sometimes hours, and sometimes the effects linger for days. It all really depends on the day and the situation. This is not how everyone experiences anxiety, it isn’t even how I experience anxiety all the time. It is however how I experience anxiety most often.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, let’s go back to the beginning, to when it all started. I was seven years old when everything took a turn in my life. My father, the man who was supposed to protect me from all the evil things out there became that very evil thing. He rapped me, something I have always found hard to talk about. It didn’t just happen once and yet I remained quiet, scared of what might happen if I told someone what was happening. Even my mom had no idea what was going on when she wasn’t in the house. I held onto the burden for years, all the while beating myself up, making myself believe that I deserved it, that I did something to bring it on.

It wasn’t just sexual abuse with my father, it was also emotional abuse, there were so many times he would tell me that I wasn’t good enough. It got to where I believed the words he was saying. I truly believed that I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t ever going to be good enough. no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t live up to the expectations I set for myself. Because you see when you start believing you aren’t good enough you look for reasons why, you begin to create them. I set goals I knew were too much, goals I knew I would always fall short on. It was an endless cycle that just brought me deeper and deeper down into a depression I didn’t know I was falling into, all I knew was I wasn’t good enough.

So I started to put all my focus into school, nothing else was as important as making sure I achieved those high grades, those goals that I set for myself. School was that one thing I was good at, that one thing I seemed to have control over in my life and no one but myself could take that away from me. My standards were high, a lot higher than everyone else around me had for me. I can remember the first time I got anything lower than an 80%, I came home devastated and informed my mom that I had failed. She asked me what my grade had been and I sadly told her a 75% as if it were the end of the world. Of course she told me it wasn’t a fail and it was in fact a very good mark but I didn’t believe her. My whole life had been focused on honor roll and this wasn’t an honor roll mark.

Looking back on moments like I realize how much having the high standards I had were setting me up for failure. There were many moments just like this one and each and every time the result was similar. Sometimes it was a sense of failure, other times anxiety was added. It was a hard thing to deal with and yet I put myself through it each and every day. It came to the point where before doing something new, spending time with someone new or even going somewhere I had been a million times but knew there was going to be a lot of people I would have an anxiety attack about it. Life had become not as fun as everyone was telling me it was.

In fact high school was the worst four years of my life. Not only was I bringing myself down but others around me were finding everything they could to bully me for. Life truly seemed to suck and that would bring on more anxiety. I was a mess of anxiety mixed with depression I was trying to silence. Many days I was low but I would put on a happy face, after all in a small town such as the one I grew up in anxiety and depression didn’t really exist. Everyone seemed to know everyone’s business and this was not something I wanted other people to know. It was during these years I found some ounce of courage and was able to tell my mom about the abuse I was facing. She immediately took my siblings and I before leaving. She called the cops and my dad was arrested, he was later sentenced to two years less a day jail time.

There were many times over the course of my life where I thought about suicide, thought about just taking that way out, getting away from it all. Thankfully I had my mom and she always let me know how much she loves me, I believe this is part of what has kept me alive. Two years less a day my dad was released from jail, his suffering was over and yet mine was still present. I was still living with the anxiety and depression, the aftermath of it all. Why was he able to walk free while I was a prisoner to my mental health? This is something I don’t think I will ever understand.

Life was hard, everything seemed bigger and worse than it should be but I was holding on, if only by a thin thread. It wasn’t until my mom also fell into depression that something in me changed. While she was low I was there telling her that it was going to be okay, that she was going to make it through everything. I was helping her wherever I could. That was when I took a look at my own life: If I could say those things to my mom why the hell couldn’t I say them to myself? It was that realization that had me thinking. It was from that moment on I took a second look at everything, at myself and started telling myself the opposite of what I had been telling myself all these years.

So what does all this mean? Why am I writing all this today?

Well because I know there are so many other people out there who feel the same way, who think the same way I do. I want all of you to know that it can get better, you can love yourself. I am currently on my journey of self-love, I make sure I participate in self-care because it is something I deserve. It is something we all deserve. Self-love can be the hardest thing in the world to do, and yet I believe it is the most important thing. Yes there are lots of days where I hate myself but there are some days where I love myself, and that is more than I can say for my life growing up.

I still go through life with the anxiety and there are a lot of times where I hit my wall of depression but there are good times and smiles to even those out. Yes when I’m low I’m low but low isn’t my daily state anymore. The road I’m travelling is a long one, there are so many twists and turns but I believe I can make it to my destination and you can to. Everyone is unique, but that doesn’t mean something bad. Just like each flower is unique we all have something that makes us beautiful. Something that makes others want to pick us to have in their lives. We are all special in our own way and damn it we are so worth all the good things that are coming.

Keep you’re head up and believe in yourself because you are stronger than you know. And when you don’t believe in yourself just remember that I believe in you, we can do this. It’s not going to be easy but it is going to be so worth it in the end. I’m always around if you need someone to talk to, someone to brighten your spirits. If you don’t have that support in your life I’ll be that support because each and every one of you deserves it. You are worth it, I am worth it, We are worth it.

In the words of Christopher Robin: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Keep on being you!

Lyndsay

Advertisements

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 17 and 18

Day 17: Post About your Zodiac sign and whether or not it suits you

So Libra is my zodiac and below is a picture of what that means. Some of it suites me and some of it doesn’t. I have another blog post planned where I will go more in depth to this, that will be coming after the challenge.

Day 18: Post 30 facts about yourself

  1. I am the oldest of three children
  2. I have a puppy named Logan
  3. Batman is my favourite superhero
  4. I enjoy bullet Journalling
  5. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator
  6. I used to act when I was younger
  7. I really enjoy musicals
  8. I am a Girl Guide of Canada leader
  9. I have been to a few different places and New York City has been my favourite so far
  10. I have a total of 6 tattoos
  11. One place that I want to go is British Columbia
  12. I have been on a cruise and I loved it except I get sea sick
  13. I love doing escape rooms and I’m getting really good at them
  14. I don’t post on Facebook very much but I do check it at least once a day
  15. I have a YouTube channel that I started with a friend of mine
  16. One day I would like to be a mother
  17. I have anxiety so some things are difficult for me
  18. I have worked in more than one daycare and I love the one that I am in right now
  19. I love Harry Potter and have read every book at least 10 times each
  20. I hate shopping
  21. I love being able to paint, draw and colour
  22. I love driving and prefer to drive than be a passenger
  23. I am really close to my mom and spend time with her as much as possible
  24. I want to travel to England and have wanted to until I was a child
  25. Even though I live in Canada I hate snow
  26. I watch very random things
  27. I don’t like country music
  28. I don’t like confrontation but I am the first one to call something out if it is getting done wrong
  29. I am not a fan of carbonated beverages, in fact I would rather drink water than something else
  30. I find it really hard to talk about myself

Talk Soon,

Lyndzey

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 13, 14 and 15

Day 13: What are you excited about?

This is a hard one because there isn’t really anything I am overly excited about right now. Things are going as normal so that’s pretty cool but there isn’t anything noteworthy. I guess I could say I’m excited that I managed to get a Sheldon Cooper Funko POP figure that I have been wanting for while.

Day 14: Post your favourite movies that you never get tired of watching

Oh goodness, there are a few of them to be honest.

  1. Identity
  2. Insidious
  3. Maze Runner
  4. Any of the Harry Potter movies
  5. Shutter Island
  6. Jumanji

Day 15: Bullet-point your whole day

  • Woke up and took Logan outside
  • Bathroom and brushed teeth
  • Let Logan back inside and put him in the dog room for the day
  • Got dressed and left for work
  • Worked first part of a split shift
  • Went for breakfast with some co-workers to discuss the PD day on Friday
  • Went home
  • Let Logan outside and inside again
  • Watched Netflix and did some drawing
  • Let Logan outside and inside again
  • Went back to work
  • Worked second part of split shift
  • Went home
  • Let Logan outside and inside again
  • Ate dinner
  • Put food away
  • Watched some television with Mom
  • Let Eli (mom’s dog) outside and inside
  • Let Logan outside and inside one last time
  • Did some bullet Journalling
  • Wrote this post
  • Will be going to bed

Talk Soon,

Lyndzey

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 12

Write about 5 blessings in your life

  1. My mom. I’ve been through a lot in my life and there have been some really rough times. My mom has been there through everything and is the person who keeps me going. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my mom in my life.
  2. My siblings. As much as we might fight and bicker my siblings are very important to me. My brother has seen me through a lot and has helped me more than he will ever know. My sister shows me each and every day that though someone might be different they can still accomplish the same things.
  3. My friends. My friends are there to pick me up when I’m down and I am thankful for each and every one of them. I know that I can always count on them and that is such a good feeling to have. My friends are really important to me and I don’t think I would be where I am without them.
  4. My puppy. Logan is fairly new in my life but he has already done so much for me. Whenever I am having a lot of anxiety he seems to know and he is there. He has a way of calming me down which is simply amazing.
  5. The opportunities I have been offered. There have been some points in my life when I have been down and thought things were going to stay bad. But I have been offered a lot of opportunities that have brought me back up and given me hope for the future and that hope is something that can’t be beat.

Talk Soon,

Lyndzey