This is me...doing a hard thing
Hello there lovely CBT School Community,
You all know how much I adore coming on here every week and sharing cool Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tips or fun Mindfulness tools with you all!? As I often say, “these are skills for life” and sometimes we have to stare the dark place of mental illness in the face before we get introduced (and practice) these wonderful tools. Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom before we ask for help. We have to be struggling so much that we have no choice but to double down and learn the tools we need to live a more mindful and healthy life.
This was definitely the case for me. In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast, I share with you my story with Mental Illness.
I am not going to lie. I have felt many emotions about sharing my own story. This week’s episode is one that has challenged me to be as brave as I can be.
I have been thinking about telling my own story of mental illness/health for some time and it has taken me many conversations with trusted colleagues and family members to come to a place where I felt ready. So, today, I bravely share with you my story. This is me….doing a hard thing.
In the episode, I talk about how I moved away from my small hometown to go to university. Immediately, I was riddled with anxiety and panic. I felt so painfully alone and I was plagued with the repetitive thought that “something bad will happen.” I felt out of control and I had no tools to manage these terrifying feelings. In this episode, I share how I responded to these thoughts in the only way I knew how. I used what some would consider very positive behaviors and use them in a way that became very problematic. Before too long, I was restricting my food, compulsively exercising and binge-eating to manage my emotions. I spent hours planning and calculating my calorie intake and I kept it all a secret, in fear that someone would find out how much I was struggling. I was so afraid of being seen as weak or over-dramatic. These behaviors stripped me of my joy, comfort and my life.
My hope with sharing my own personal story is to remind you that you can get better. I also hope that it helps us all feel more connected and a part of the same community. We all have our own story and struggles, and I wanted to share mine with you so you felt I understood what you might be going through. While I might not have exactly the same story (or circumstances), we all get to the place where we have to ask for help. We all get to the place where were feel so out of control that we have to make a change. That was me. And this is me….doing a hard thing.
I hope you find it helpful, or comforting. Please know that you can get better and you can get your life back.