Who defines the term ‘anxiety’ or ‘depression’, is it society, psychology students, doctors or maybe it’s that voice in your head that says everything’s not okay? I’m Jess, a 17 year old high school graduate that has dealt with the uncertainty of both anxiety and depression. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sob story where I relay the last 6 years of my life and make you feel sorry for me. This is more an inspirational story to let you know that if you’re feeling these feelings- you’re most definitely not alone.
Cliche right? Everyone hears the same phrases “it’ll be okay”, “a lot of people experience this”, “one day it’ll get better” but let’s take the short cut around that load of lies and hop, skip and jump to reality. It probably won’t get better overnight, and in some cases it’ll never get better. You might have this annoying cloud over you several times in the rest of your life saying you’re not good enough- unfortunately this happens to way too many people. Initially it sucks and I wish there were some big intellectual word to define anxiety but there isn’t- it just sucks.
A constant numb feeling that somehow hurts, feeling you have no control of your thoughts or body, experiencing heaps of feelings or none at all, staring at the world wondering why this is happening, and questioning what you’ve done to deserve this.
I’ve been there, I suffered depression for 4 years and am still struggling to live my life with it. I know you don’t understand what’s going on with your mind or why it’s going on and really I can’t tell you to do something but I got help and it helped. I saw a psychologist and a psychiatrist, as well as a school counselor on and off for 2 years and it has done amazing things for me. Figuring out where the depression may have stemmed from helps in really understanding how to either fix the issue or come to terms with it but the choice is always up to you. Even if it doesn’t feel like it. Anxiety however is a disorder that I have had ever since I can remember.
I am a very introverted person- it wasn’t until I was 15 that I had the confidence to greet people when they talked to me, other than that I just stood there and panicked. Going to concerts, parties, or just going to a class of five people scared me more than I could ever explain. I didn’t go to school for half of the time purely because I couldn’t. I couldn’t face people, large groups, judgment or just what my head made me believe. I often struggled with simple tasks like writing, drinking or applying mascara because I was shaking uncontrollably.
I hit some hard times in life; I had a struggling relationship with a parent, no friends, my family wasn’t the biggest fan of me, all the while going though teenage problems. Laying awake at night crying, having a panic attack in the closest public restrooms or losing the ability to get out of bed in the morning because of fear of what was outside.
Like I said, this isn’t a sob story. I’m here to let you know that my life has changed so much purely from being taught to believe in myself.
I am now a 17 year old girl moving her way into the beauty industry with the hopes of showing boys and girls all over the world that they are beautiful. I have a small group of friends that I wouldn’t swap for the world, a growing relationship with a parent and the most exciting future. I’m able to get out of bed now, sometimes I want to stay in but everyone does, and I don’t fear the outside world.
You can do this too. If you yourself have these struggles please seek help, even if it doesn’t work for you, you’ve given it a go. Don’t give up on trying to make yourself happy again because just like mine, your future is amazing and I would love for you to live it. If you know someone that is struggling with this, give them a helping hand. It’s amazing what a shoulder to cry on can do.
No matter what happens everyday, what thoughts go through your head you need to know that you will have good days even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’ll ever be happy again. At the end of the day, there needs to be some rain before a rainbow appears.