Mental Heath + me

Today is Mental Health Day and it would be foolish of me not to say something.

 

All my life, I felt that darkness. But I never knew what to call it. In the months following my transition to college, I felt the world crumbling beneath my feet. There was a lot happening in my life. I felt like I was living in black and white. I was isolated, sad, and lonely. I remember thinking "Just suck it up."Finally, I was diagnosed with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. It hit me like a truck.

 

This was it, this was the end.

Following my diagnosis came many trips to the hospital, many medications, and countless therapy appointments. I hid that all from everyone. Even writing this out, I feel a lump in my throat. How dare I show my weakness. I never told anyone, I lied to people about where I was going, and took Ubers to the Emergency Room. I was embarrassed. Everyone was out living the college life they all wanted and I was in my room with the door locked, on the phone with the emergency nurse while she tried to talk me down from my panic attack.

Today, I still feel all that hurt, isolation, and sadness. But thanks to medicine, doctors, and kind people in this world, life is back in color. Admitting I had a serious problem was my first step to a healthier life. I can go out with friends, have conversations, and feel confident in myself. The darkness never disappears, but it's mostly bright in my life now.

 

If you are struggling, DO NOT feel embarrassed. My door is open. I have cozy blankets and relaxing lighting. I have soothing candles and great bubble bath. I have an ice cream pint ready to eat and a dog ready to snuggle. Please reach out, this life is too fragile to go it alone. Thank you to everyone who hugged me, asked how my day was, and just cared. If someone special in your life is distant, do not assume they're ignoring you. They may be going through something you don't understand. I wish someone in my freshman dorm would have just asked if I was okay. 

Tonight, I snuggle my emotional support animal and toast to happy and healthy year for everyone.

This is it. This is OUR beginning

hannah budke