February 1, 2017, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Before that, I struggled with anxiety and depression for YEARS without getting the help that I needed. Extreme worry, restlessness, and irritability became the new normal for me. I thought it was something I could handle on my own, not realizing that trying to handle everything on my own is how I got here in the first place.
Growing up in a black home with a Christian mother, I was always told that there was nothing that prayer and going to church couldn’t fix. Imagine my frustration with my mom and God when neither of those worked for me. I was going through something that I didn’t understand and no one around me took it seriously. Throughout the years, there were plenty of times when I tried to tell my mom and a few friends about what I was feeling. I was called dramatic, told that I was worrying about things that all adults worry about, and offered marijuana to help me calm down on more than one occasion (insert eye roll). It wasn’t long before I gave up confiding in others all together. After all, it’s hard to understand something you’ve never experienced and it’s even harder being the one misunderstood. It took two trips to the emergency room, two prescriptions for Hydroxyzine, and a referral to a therapist before anyone took me seriously.
I said all of that to say, when someone is crying out for help, be there for them. I believe wholeheartedly that if someone would’ve taken me seriously and been there for me in the beginning, I wouldn’t need a prescription to help me calm down today. Anxiety and depression is real and it’s something that no one should have to go through alone. Just listening to someone vent for a few minutes can make a difference. Lucky for me, I do have a friend now that I can call when I’m having a “moment.” I’m not comfortable talking to a therapist yet, so he’s the next best thing. He doesn’t know this, but his superhero complex is what saved me. I’ve never been suicidal, but I was definitely in a dark place when he came into my life.
To anyone currently struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. I know how frustrating not being able to control your thoughts and emotions can be and a pill can only do so much. Don’t try to handle it on your own. If you’re feeling depressed and nervous, talk to someone. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, my contact information is all over my blog. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I’ve felt for years, so I’m more than willing to lend an ear. It’s still a struggle for me. Some days are definitely better than others. I’m still coming to terms with everything and hopefully one day I can say I’ve conquered this. I hope that by telling a smart part of my story, people realize that even the strongest person needs a shoulder to cry on and it is okay to not always be okay.