Please welcome Megan Robbins to the blog. She is the epitome of a warrior. Her story will no doubt resonate with so many who have walked similar paths. We hope you find inspiration in her words and we applaud her bravery for standing up to the stigma and telling her story anyway. It matters, she matters, you matter.
If you or anyone you know is battling depression or contemplating suicide, there is help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline .
It’s hard to look back and remember what life was like without anxiety. I’m not sure when it began, but I know that it’s been there for many years. As I got older, my anxiety became worse. I eventually began to struggle with depression as well. In the winter of 2019, I hit my lowest point. My depression and anxiety were my number one struggle and it felt as if I was being suffocated by these mental illnesses. I’ve spent many years trying to understand these illnesses. It felt as if I was trying to learn so much about mental health in such a short amount of time so that I could find some sort of relief. I talked to many doctors and mental health professionals. I was utilizing talk therapy, I took medication, I went to intensive outpatient therapy and I once was admitted inpatient to a local hospital. What I’ve realized at this point is that there is so much that affects mental health. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of effort and willpower to learn about and understand your own mind. So, how do you muster up all of that effort when you’re so depressed that you can barely get yourself out of bed and through your daily routine? How do you possibly compose yourself when your brain is telling you that you’re in a dangerous situation and something terrible is going to happen? I still don’t have a complete answer to that. I’ve been on this journey for several years now and when I look back I don’t know how I got through my darkest days. The days when I cried every morning because I didn’t know how to feel like this everyday. The days when I wanted to run away from my responsibilities because they seemed impossible to manage. I remember thinking, “why me?” Why can’t I feel “normal?” I am incredibly lucky that I have had the support system that kept me fighting everyday. Without them I don’t know where I would be. Experiencing depression and anxiety can be terrifying and lonely. They made me feel less alone with their constant support. It’s an uneasy feeling to know that I was suffering from an illness that is so taboo to talk about amongst many.
Reliving those moments brings tears to my eyes, but even so, I wouldn’t take back any of these experiences. Each one shaped me into the person I am today. Into the warrior I am today. Until you experience mental illness, it’s hard to wrap your head around how difficult it can be. As I previously said, I spent many years trying to wrap my head around my anxiety and depression. It seemed impossible to find the answers that I so desperately wanted. When I tell you that I tried medication, I mean that I truly tried every medication that was recommended to me. I have a laundry list of medications I have tried. I took mediations for the side effects of medications with fingers crossed that something would work. I could go on and on about my trial and error and all of my incredibly difficult experiences with mental illness. I know what it feels like to be desperate for answers… just wanting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, if that’s where you are right now, please do not give up. There is a light and you will find it.
I read a quote once that said, “mental health is not a battle to be won, but a journey to continue walking.” That has rung true for me. I’ve learned that mental health is a continuous journey and it takes work everyday. That may seem overwhelming and an impossible way to live, but it truly does get easier. It has for me. Granted, some days are harder, much harder. However, that makes the other days that much better. Through the many years of seeking out answers, I’ve learned that taking care of your mental health requires a lifestyle change. For me, I’ve had to understand that many things affect my mental health. My environment, my routine, the way I feel and think about myself, just to name a few. As hard as it was to get to where I am now, and as hard as it was to think about the work I would have to put in day after day to feel better… it is an amazing feeling knowing that you are succeeding and not letting your mental illness win. It’s an amazing feeling when you finally realize that YOU have the POWER. Doing the things that make you feel like you become a natural part of your routine. Along with the things that work for me now, I continue to do research and I never stop learning about myself. If I notice negative thoughts, I get to the root and figure out what is the true issue. I determine what I’m upset about, what triggered me, etc, so I don’t let it consume me. I take care of myself and when I’m running on low I know that I need more self care. I talk to people about how I feel. I avoid situations that will hurt my mental well-being. It’s been a long learning process and I know I’ll never be done learning, but that’s okay.
I know that I’m a warrior and I believe in my ability to battle whatever comes my way.
Love Will Voices is a blog series featuring those who are or who have struggled with mental health. It is meant to bring awareness, understanding and support. If you would like to share your story with us, please click here.