rule. your. mind. or. it. will. rule. you.
I wish I would have read this quote when I was 13 years old and I would have conquered a lot of my “obstacles” where anxiety paralyzed me to the point where I would only leave our house to go spend time with my horses. Every now and then, I’d get a wild hair to go socialize among the people. I’d QUICKLY make a fool out of myself with how awkward and overly eager I was to fit in with a group of people I had not a single thing in common with. The positives of growing up in a small town VERY much outweigh the negatives but that is one of my very few complaints. I probably wasn’t as weird as I thought (or maybe I was?) but I always felt like I spent too much time trying to mold myself into someone I wasn’t…and as a result, I became an anxious ball of negative and irrational thoughts.
I know I’m not over the hill yet…..BUT back in my day, mental illness wasn’t something people were as open about. I suffered from social anxiety and depression. I felt so much shame and self loathing about the struggles I had when I had nothing to complain about. My home life wasn’t always a walk in the park but I had parents that loved me, a roof over my head, and I was spoiled as hell looking back on it! At some point, I decided to take advantage of the counseling my school was offering. It helped for a short time to be able to express myself to a professional. It wasn’t long before I became vulnerable with this “psychologist”. Slowly the questions that were asked became overly sexual.I wasn’t comfortable and had a bad feeling about the intentions of the questions. I went to the superintendent with these concerns and I was told that “I just wasn’t comfortable in the company of a man”. I had a reputation for being overly dramatic so not being taken seriously wasn’t surprising, I just hope that I was the only one put in that position. So where I had good intentions to get better, I retreated back in my shell and continued to struggle academically and socially. I had nothing but support and love from my family to be whoever I wanted to be…but I didn’t have the resources available to me that I needed to overcome the demons I was fighting inside my head.
My life at 26 is pretty close to perfect. I still lay in bed sometimes feeling like a 50 pound weight is on my chest. I still open the door to let my old friend depression in even though he robs me of the things I love and cherish. BUT as the years have passed, people I love the most have came forward with their struggles. There is no more hiding about the dark thoughts that ruin great opportunities and severe ties with some great people. There is no more shame woven into saying you struggle with mental illness. There isn’t embarrassment in finding help through medication and counseling. We live in a time where we have A LOT of negatives but this is a subject that makes me proud to be around to see the developments that the subject of mental health has gone through.
If you are still living in a a place where you don’t know where to turn or how to express your thoughts, please feel free to get a hold of me at any time! I’m obviously not a professional (I shave dog assholes for a living SO) but I will always make time to listen and never have judgement because whatever bad thought/decision is haunting you, I’m sure I’ve been somewhere similar!