Not too sure how to begin this. I guess i’ve just decided to try everything in my power to help my anxiety. I’m a 22 year old Kinesiologist and Physical Therapy student just trying to make something of myself. I don’t know if this will reach anybody, but that’s ok. This is for me to let out my feelings and frustrations and anxieties as they come. An outlet.

I’ve been struggling with some anxiety for the past 3 years now, but haven’t admitted to it until recently. I thought it made me weak, or less accomplished, and yet another woman in my family who suffers from some sort of mental illness. You see, my moms side of the family is filled with crazy out there, alcohol crazed, extroverted South Africans. My dad’s however, also South African, but absolutely riddled with mental illnesses. My aunts all suffered depression/anxiety/suicidal tendancies, you name it. My younger cousins have autism/Aspergers/PANDAS syndrome/ personality disorder, you name it. So in my immediate family it was always a joke about how we are the only “normal” kids in the family. It became a sense of pride for my parents to know that neither of their two daughters suffered any sort of mental illness. Whoops.. sorry mom and dad. I tried to bury it I really did.

I’m not entirely sure yet what triggers my anxiety. A lot of it comes from school; I’m in a Masters program to become a physical therapist. I’m a perfectionist and put a lot of pressure on myself. I’ve also never been comfortable in my own body and constantly pick apart aspects I don’t see as ‘good enough’.

All I do know is that I constantly rip the fingers off my nail beds until they’re bleeding, I have tension migraines, tight shoulders/neck/chronic fatigue. I thought I could keep it all bottled up inside and it wouldn’t effect my life or relationships too much, but my relationship with my boyfriend has started to experience the hardships that comes along with anxiety, and I have parents praying for my mental wellbeing. Thats why I’ve decided enough is enough.

So I don’t have all the answers about my anxiety, I barely have any. All I know is that I want to figure it out. I want to figure out what triggers my shame spirals and negative feelings. And most of all I want to figure out what both I and people around me can do to help me. Because I’m sick of burying it and being ashamed of it. It’s a part of me and it’s time I accept that.

 If I can help anybody in the process or if somebody can or wants to join me in trying to survive this then I will incredibly grateful and honoured. But if this is just for me too, then that is ok.