Let's talk about it!

I have said from the beginning that I want this to be a space that I can share the good and the bad with you all. I kept my first get to know me post light hearted and fun, but I want to share more about me with you all. Just looking at me from my posts on Instagram or Facebook, what some people might not realize is that I actually suffer from anxiety. (This is a long post so bear with me!)


Growing up, I was always the one biting my nails and picking my fingers ALL THE TIME. I just thought the nail biting was a habit. It wasn't until later on when I was in college or graduated college that I started seeing articles on mental health. That's where I noticed that a lot of people with anxiety have a problem biting their nails. So, of course in the back of my head, I thought that that could be me, but I had never had an anxiety or panic attack before. That was until 2017...


In January of 2017, I was going to brunch with one of my friends. I was having cramps and a migraine, but I didn't think much about it since migraines are a normal occurrence for me. I rode with my roommate, Diana. When we got to the location, we got out to go inside, but that is when I started sweating and my vision started that weird tunnel vision thing that happens right before you pass out. I woke up to Diana saying my name and realized I was on the ground looking up at the sky. I had passed out on the pavement face first. I had busted my chin, scraped my knees, and even busted out one of my front teeth. This is when my actual anxiety attacks started.



After spending the day in the ER, I was cleared to go home. They had determined that I have low blood pressure, so mine didn't have far to drop before I would pass out. They said it was also vasovagal syncope, and that the cramps I was having had hit that nerve and caused me to pass out. So for the next several weeks/months, I didn't want to be alone. I was scared that I would fall again and that no one would be around that time. It sent me into a panic anytime it was "that time of the month" that it would also happen again.



It was then that my primary care doctor gave me medicine for the anxiety attacks. She also suggested I go to a therapist to talk about it all. Knowing what caused my anxiety attacks, I tried to just work through it on my own without taking the medicine or going for therapy. After a couple of months, I was okay. I started running errands by myself again, and I didn't panic every month. I even completed my first runDisney race just a little over a month after the fall. If it wasn't for my sister, Paige, staying right with me the entire half marathon, there is no way I would have completed that race.


So, I went on for several years able to manage my anxiety on my own without needing medicine and without having any major anxiety attacks. That was until 2020 hit, and well I think we can all agree if anyone was going to struggle with their mental health, then 2020 was the year it would happen. I had the normal stress and worry of anyone else about COVID-19 and the effects it had on everyone. In the fall of 2020 something changed though, I wasn't sure why, but I was anxious and stressed all the time. Like not just a couple of times a week, no, I was having anxiety attacks almost every day. When I wasn't having an actual anxiety attack, I was constantly on edge and stressed. I could not figure out what was triggering it, and that caused me to stress even more because I couldn't just fix it. I finally called my mom one night in October and we talked about all I was dealing with. I decided then I needed help. So, I reached out to my doctor about going on a daily medication to help manage my anxiety. I also told the doctor that I thought it would be good if I saw a therapist as well. I really wanted to get my anxiety under control and work through this. It was miserable to live like this. After talking to work and my doctor, we decided it would be best to take a couple of months off of work to focus on myself and get the anxiety under control. I hope that everyone can find a supportive family, doctor, and work location when it comes to their mental health. I am so thankful for everyone that encouraged me to take these steps for myself. I can definitely see an improvement in myself over the last couple of months.


I don't want this to be a post where people feel sorry for me and all that I have been through. Like I said in my first post, I want this to be a place to share my experiences, so that it might encourage someone else. Mental health is something that is just now starting to be talked about more, and I think it is important to have someone that you feel comfortable talking to when you have something going on. I hope that if you are reading this and you are struggling, that you take this as a sign to reach out and talk to someone. Whether it be a friend, family member, doctor, or even me, I want you all reading this to see that we all struggle even if it looks like we have ourselves completely together on social media. I want to show that it's okay to not be okay all of the time. It's okay to need medicine, and it's okay to go to a therapist. All of these things have helped me SO MUCH in the last couple of months. I have another post planned for ways that I try to handle my anxiety, so if you have any questions or comments that you want answered, feel free to comment them below.


Thanks again for following along and subscribing!

~Shelby~

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