stay alive challenge accepted
Today’s post is a double challenge: not only is it World Mental Health Day for but I was also tagged by @.insta.photography to do the Stay Alive Challenge for suicide and depression awareness. Given the topics, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my own experience with mental health struggles.
I’ve lived with pretty bad anxiety for the past 2, almost 3 years. I’d had some anxiety in the couple years prior, but it didn’t spike until senior year of high school. My first panic attack was also a very public one: during my last piano recital, while I was on stage. I didn’t touch my piano for months after. My next attack, and one of my worst ones, was when I was being prepped for wisdom tooth removal surgery. Everyone’s experience with anxiety is different. For me, the effects are very internalized. My heart races, I can’t breathe, I get really cold and dizzy. The thing is, nothing’s actually wrong with my body in these moments; They’re sensations, my mind playing tricks on me.
I’ve been more invested in monitoring my anxiety this past year. I’m currently on daily medication for reducing my anxiety in the long-term, but I’m still working on methods to help in the middle of an anxiety attack. Ultimately, I’ve found that the key is taking care of myself and giving myself a creative outlet for self-expression. Starting my IG is part of that, and it’s definitely helped. Poetry has also been important; reading it always helps calm me. Sonnets from the Portuguese and Spoon River Anthology are some of my go-tos! Rather than a QOTD, use your comments and posts to share your own experiences with mental health and encourage others. Thank you so much for the support this community has provided me!