My Journey Is Not A Race

What does mental health mean to you?
To me, mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health. If my mental health isn’t in a good place, the rest of my health and life truly isn’t either. If I am struggling mentally then it means I’m not working out, I’m not eating well, and I most definitely am not taking the time to do any part of my self-care routine. It will show in all aspects of my life.

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What does mental health mean to you?

To me, mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health. If my mental health isn’t in a good place, the rest of my health and life truly isn’t either. If I am struggling mentally then it means I’m not working out, I’m not eating well, and I most definitely am not taking the time to do any part of my self-care routine. It will show in all aspects of my life.

What are your Mental Health Conditions?

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, PTSD

When were you diagnosed:

6 Years ago

Did anything/event precede your diagnosis:

MYSELF! I refused to believe everything that was happening to me was mental. I thought I was “fine.” I spent thousands on various doctors looking for an answer in my physical health. At the time, I would have rather been told I was dying of a physical condition rather than being told I needed to see a therapist. I absolutely refused to believe it until the beginning of year five. That’s when I finally decided to make a change and put all of my time and energy into getting better.

What were the reaction/support from family/friends:

“Supportive” but no one really truly understood what I was going through unless they witnessed me having a panic attack that turned into a pseudoseizure. I tried to make sure no one saw them by either drowning my anxiety with alcohol or by not showing up to social situations at all.

What would you consider to be an everyday challenge for you?

Leaving the house (but I am getting much better at this).

Driving (I no longer drive).

Going to social functions.

Constantly thinking “I’m overdue for a panic attack, it’s going to happen today.”

Being around loud music or a lot of people.

Being in cars with people I don’t know (lyft or uber).

What treatments have you used to help overcome your condition?

I wrote an awesome blog post on how I overcame anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, head over and check it out. In that post, I detail step by step the treatments I tried and actions I took to get to where I am today. I am now able to leave the house, go to social functions, and accomplish so much more in my day than I could one year ago.

Do you feel the treatments were positive interventions?

Some did, some didn’t. Example: Hypnotherapy gave me a panic attack, and I ran out of the office in the middle of it, but CBT or Exposure Therapy is something I use every single day and it works wonderfully. Scary as hell at first, but worth every moment.

How do you avoid relapse?

I have accepted that this is a journey, not a race. There is no finish line, I can only get better at living my best life. That some days I may struggle, but those struggles don’t define who I am.

One thing you would like to inform others who are struggling with a condition or anything you would like to provide education on:

It’s 2018, I’m only 30, and I’ve been to too many funerals from people in my life who didn’t think they had anyone to turn to, to talk to, or who felt they were not loved. If you are struggling, feeling unworthy, feeling anxious and like no one understands you. Please believe me when I say, you are not alone and you are worthy. You don’t know me, but I promise you there is a common ground we can connect on. It could be passion we both share or a struggle we are both familiar with. There is always common ground to cultivate a connection on. There is always someone out there who will listen, who will care for you, and who will make you laugh until you cry. I know it’s so easy to close the door and shut the world out, curl up alone and cry it out and yes, sometimes we need to do that, sometimes we HAVE TO do that. But when you’re done, text someone and go to lunch, or a movie, or the park. Do something. Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and you are loved so much. I can’t begin to say this enough, but even if I’ve never talked to you in my life and you reach out to me, I will talk to you, I will compliment you, I will walk you through that struggle. That is a promise.

Connect with your girl, by subscribing and following me on my social media platforms. The links are located on the sidebar. Also, check below to follow Whitney.
Whitney pens the blog “Whitney In Wonderland.”  She is a Traveling Lifestyle Blogger with Panic Disorder and Celiac Disease. She creates delicious recipes, travels as often as possible and talks about “taboo” topics. She explains her “safe place” as the little corner of the internet, and I hope you will consider it yours too. Cheers!

29 thoughts on “My Journey Is Not A Race”

    1. Empathy in respect to others is important for many reasons. Whitney speaks on the point of often feeling like there’s no one to turn to, and suffering in silence. Sometimes just being an ear is more then enough.

  1. The best healing takes time. It’s important not to rush the process. This post made me realize how much we take our mental health for granted. I wish you all the best and may you get better and live your best life in time.

    1. I believe that is exactly Whitney’s point. Healing definitely takes time and effort. It is extremely dangerous to neglect personal mental health.

  2. I think the world is slow waking up to the reality of the lives of those with mental health issues. And it is thanks to people like you speaking out and telling us what it is like. Thank you!

    1. Yes, mental health in years passed had gone slightly under the radar. It’s a part of health study that is very young. Whitney does a great job divulging some intimate details of her personal struggles. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I definitely agree with what you said about taking care of your mental health as much as your physical health! Sometimes I forget about that, but the truth is, if my mental health is not great, then the rest of me is not great. So true!

    1. Exactly, I took a lot of points from Whitney on this script. Ultimately self worth and growth is worth fighting for and the majority of the work is internal!

  4. Thanks for sharing my story! I hope to help others speak up and know that we don’t have to be silent about mental health!

    1. Thankyou so much for visiting and reading! I’m so glad you were able to learn from this blog. Whitney certainly did a great job at making her journey a teachable moment!

    1. Absolutely! Whitney definitely is courageous and assertive towards her own treatment/growth. She makes it clear to understand the dynamics to her fight to overcome! Thanks for reading!

  5. This is an incredible post… I suffer from anxiety and as a result, insomnia. When I was first diagnosed, I wanted to be told it was something physical because then at least people would understand. Luckily, after years of therapy and treatment, I’m in a much better place 🙂 thank you for sharing ♥ xx

  6. It takes great courage to share your story with the world. However, I’m grateful that you have as someone out there isn’t so brave and are possibly struggling with some of the same conditions. Thank you for sharing your story and I pray your journey to healing continues to flourish in your own time of course. <3

  7. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate you writing on this. Because of the stigma around mental health, people are afraid to speak up and speak out about these real issues. It takes talking about it for people to realize they’re not alone — and that there are solutions. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. Whitney does a magnificent job of speaking on the necessity of recognizing the amount of effort that must be self induced, for personal growth. Yes, there are resources that will help, but a great deal of effort must come internally, via recognition.

    1. Absolutely and thanks for visiting my blog! It has always been a personal struggle for me to open up. I understand, firsthand mental health and focus to aid others with theirs.

  8. I know how you feeling. I don’t know how I get through the day sometimes but I do. It’s strong for you to tell your story.

    1. Understanding the “why” you get through the day, should help you understand the “how” you get through every day. What motivates you or makes you happy? Thanks for visiting and sharing!

  9. I totally agree with you! Mental health is as important, if not more important, as physical health. We really need to understand ourselves and how we function and what we need before we can move on to functioning well in this world.

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