Being very type-A, hyper organized, and a striving perfectionist, it has been my lot in life to be a little more, and sometimes a lot more, stressed than those around me. The right set of environmental factors collided in college and I developed Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorders. There were a few trauma and crisis moments and times I did not know how I was going to make it through. But after each breath came the next breath, and through counseling and learning more about myself I learned not only how to cope with anxiety, but also how to thrive. In an effort to stomp out stigma and share what mental illness looks like, I am sharing a video of photos of myself through the time span of my experience with anxiety. Mental illness looks like me – a person with a full life who tries to live positively and authenticity at work and at home with family and friends.
“In a blaze of fear I put a helmet on a helmet
Counting seconds through the night and got carried away
So now I’m standing on the overpass screaming at the cars,
“Hey, I wanna get better!””
This is part of our yearly #SACommits series on mental health in Student Affairs. This May, we are exploring what mental illness looks like using different forms of expression – photos, drawings, videos, writing, etc. We hope to create better understanding of what it is like to live with mental illness, in an effort to stomp out stigma. Each week will have a theme -Throughout the lifespan, With Loved Ones, At Work, With Myself. For more information, see the intro post by Kristen Abell. Check out the other posts in this series too! You can also join the conversation by using our unique #SACommits Selfies print outs.