“I sent a message to my doctor today.
A year ago, I finally realized that the sudden onset of chest tightness, the way my mind would race and my vision would narrow causing me to nearly hyperventilate, and the overwhelming urge to hibernate and shut out the world wasn’t the way I had to keep living.
That was the day I discovered anxiety.
That was the day I decided my health was more important than my pride.
And so, I made a call I never imagined I would need to make:
A call for help.
For a year, I’ve taken a small white pill every night.
A pill that ushered me into a new way of living.
For a year, I’ve answered ‘yes’ on forms that ask if I take any daily medications.
For a year, I’ve fought the lies in my head that tell me strong women don’t need medication, and good moms can handle it alone, and that ‘normal’ people can make it through life without all this hand-holding.
And for a year, I’ve woken up each day with a renewed spirit; a lightness in my heart and on my chest that I have not felt in years.
For a year, I’ve felt like the me I’ve always known I had within me.
And then, 2020 happened.
It’s no joke that we’re facing a collective mental health crisis.
Existing stressors and troubles didn’t just vanish with quarantine.
Chemical imbalances didn’t cease to exist because COVID-19 stole the spotlight.
In fact, I think quarantine has stripped us of most of the support systems and coping mechanisms we’ve always used to manage our anxiety in the past.
And it’s placed us exactly where a person who struggles with anxiety least wants to be – alone with their own thoughts.
Our distractions are gone, and our spinning, anxious thoughts are louder than ever.
So, I sent a message today.
A message for more help.
And as many times as I need to send those messages – I will.
Because help is out there, but the first move is on you.
And for what it’s worth, anyone who makes you feel weak or small for seeking help…well…their voice doesn’t need to come out of quarantine holding such a valuable place in your life.
Because the thing about voices is, the closer you allow one to come, the harder it gets to determine if the voice your hearing is theirs or yours.
So, let me reassure you – it’s not weak who seek help. That kind of bravery; that humility is only found in the strong.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kendra Barnes of Daylight to Dark. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Kendra:
‘It’s been a hard year. Just take the next breath. Make the next decision. Keep going, even when everything within you is begging you to stop.’: Woman reminds us to keep pushing through, even when ‘life as you knew it ceases to exist’
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