I can finally breathe. I just finished my last assignment to end off my first semester of grad school! This semester has been all but easy, but I have made it through to the end. Sitting in these feelings of elation, I’m starting to reflect on my journey thus far…
Sometimes we end up in such a state of crisis that we’ll open up to anyone who’ll listen. One instance sticks out to me the most right now: “Maybe it’s all in your head.” These words came from a friend, who in trying to make me feel better about my anxiety, only minimized the seriousness of what I was trying to explain to her, what I was trying to understand for myself..
I tried to convince myself that what I was experiencing probably was all in my head, but that only made me feel worse. It made me blame myself even more for how I was feeling and acting. Four months later, it has become clear to me that anxiety is never “just in your head.” Anxiety has roots somewhere, and sometimes we have to dig deep to find out where.
I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have been battling with this disorder for most of my life, but I just never realized it. I never imagined that individuals outside of a military uniform could experience these symptoms to such a degree. I never imagined that I could be the face of PTSD. I will definitely speak more about this in future posts, but tonight I just want to say that anxiety doesn’t just appear out of the blue. There is a cause, whether you are aware of it or not. Do not be afraid to seek out help. Do not be afraid to speak out. The pain isn’t worth your silence.