The Day I Chose Me
There’s nothing heavier than having anxiety so strong that you can’t even speak freely or be surrounded by groups of people without feeling like you can’t breathe. Can you imagine being a twenty-something year old college student who was around nothing but party animals? Obviously, in order to fit in and have fun yourself, you had to figure out a way to not let the anxiety and isolation take over. My way of coping was through heavy booze, marijuana, and ecstasy pills. Self-medicating was the only way I knew how to bring ups to my downs, and to live ‘freely’ in such a locked down frame of mind. It kept me from over-thinking, feeling shameful, and from being a party-pooper. What I didn’t know, is that as my addiction to these self-medicating coping strategies grew, my actions were leading me down a road that would lead to self-destruction and other depressive behaviors. I became immune to promiscuity, self-hate, and emotional abuse. I allowed my inability to handle or understand my disorder, bring more chaos to my life, until I eventually shut down. My body and mind became so tired. From there I knew it was time to seek help, so I joined a therapy session with a dear friend of mines, began going to church, joined a gym, and was even able to find love. Looking back at my lifestyle, I take full pride in tutoring young women who are going down that same road of destruction. Understanding your mental illness is serious business. You must be able to know how to cope, without the help of self-medication that will cause harm to your body, and you must learn how to verbally communicate the pain that you’re feeling. Having someone to talk to was so beneficial for me. My first time in therapy, I couldn’t’ make out a sentence without crying; that’s how much pain I was in. My pain turned to shame, because I didn’t handle it correctly. There are many health insurance plans now that cover mental health and substance abuse, and many employers who offer E.A.P (employment assistance programs) for your first three appointments. Now, I know what coping strategies to use for the mood I’m in. Now, I’m taking the right medications. Now, I’m living my best life!