Sacramento, California USA
"I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a loving home, with a very close family. I have experienced two traumas in my life that have greatly reshaped who I am, and in a short period of time.
In 2012, three months before my 21st birthday, my dad was in a terrible farming accident. When he went into his first surgery we were told to say our goodbyes because there was a chance we wouldn’t be seeing him again. I’m very lucky to still have my dad with me today.
Shortly after his accident I had my first anxiety attack. I remember it being a normal day at work, and my heart started pounding, my skin turned pale, and I was sweating. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went into a side room, sank to the floor, and cried. This continued on a regular basis for the next couple years. I was triggered by small spaces. Almost like claustrophobia. I wasn’t able to go on certain rides at Disneyland because I was so afraid to go into a dark room- I was in tears.
In February of 2015, my Grandpa was shot and killed in an act of violence. I’m from a small farming community where things like this never happen. But, it did happen. And, it happened to my family. This took me down a scarier road. I cried daily, my anxiety attacks increased, my mind and body were in a constant battle.
I had night terrors that would wake up other people in the house. I remember being woken up one night and I was in a ball on the floor crying. During this time, I was having anxiety attacks daily. I was on edge all day, waiting for it to hit. Would I cry? Was I going to pass out? I went to work every day, tried to act as normal as possible, waiting for the 'monster' to show up. It’s a constant battle with yourself.
After years of battle with this invisible monster, I decided to seek help. I was diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD. After seeking help, I was offered medication. My doctor left it completely open to me and didn’t try to pressure anything on me. After thinking about it a few days, I agreed. I had always fought the idea of medication, I felt like I could get through it myself.
But, I was finally so tired, and I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was scared that taking medicine would change me, but I realized taking medicine just set me free. If I could go back, I would have sought help sooner.
I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s okay to get help- you do not need to do this alone. We were not put on this earth to walk through it alone. I know sometimes it feels like no one understands, but there are people who will listen and will help you. You are meant to live a great and wonderful life. Don’t let this battle put out your flame.
I do still deal with anxiety. There are days that are hard. But, it is 100x better than it was before. And, I have a group of people I can talk to. I have people I can call when I’m getting anxiety. It isn’t a secret, and people do their best to understand. I want you to know I understand. I am not a therapist, but I will listen and I will care."