This is a majorly overdue post. I have been struggling to come up with the right words as this is such a touchy and personal topic. Here goes nothing.
Mental health has been a hot topic within the last couple of years. We're seeing it discussed on all sorts of platforms, but the one that affected me the most would have to be Bell Media's #BellLetsTalk campaign. I couldn't figure out why I was so sensitive to all of the celebrities and everyday people that were coming out with their struggles with mental health. I felt really connected to the ones who talked about anxiety and depression. I then started doing some research via Google where I found a lot of familiar symptoms.
A constant feeling of nausea, having a lump in my throat, non-stop panic, crying for no reason, getting all clammy and sweaty, and feeling dead inside were just a few things having a negative impact on my day-to-day life. This went on for 6 months until I brought it up to my mom. Then, it was off to my family doctor who sent me to an in-office mental health councillor to learn how to cope with anxiety. That's right, I have anxiety. It was an answer, but not one I exactly wanted.
I was thinking (and told by a few people I opened up to) that it was just stress because there had been a lot of change in my life all at once. Or it was the time of year (I started talking about how I felt in the fall/winter). Or it's all in my mind and it's up to me to calm myself. I finally know and understand why so many people suffer in silence. These responses make you feel 1000 times worse.
After three months of seeing my mental health councillor, I can say that my anxiety has subsided. It's not gone as I still have the occasional triggered panic attack - I had one last week right before a Teen Talk taping - but it's also not suffocating me and keeping me away from doing the things I love.
I think what helped was taking time to care for myself in all aspects, something a lot of us forget to do. We remember to eat healthy and exercise, but leave our minds to fend for themselves. Making sure I get in a sweat session everyday versus 3 to 4 times a week and reading something funny (I recommend David Spade's memoir) before bed have helped me feel more at ease.
I wrote this so that if you're feeling similar to how I was, or not yourself, you know it's okay to talk about it and to seek help. I can't stress the importance of doing those two things enough. #SavsFitJourney is about taking care of all of us, not just parts of us.