The Mental Health Project

Trigger Warning: OCD, Anxiety, Self-Worth, Depression

I was in school ages ago, I turn 25 this year. When I was in school I was bullied for being the quiet girl, the girl who didn’t have but I very small circle of friends. I never really knew where I fit into the 300+ kids at my school, so I didn’t and I was bullied by the same hand full of girls every day until I switched schools.

Now I don’t tell you that to drag you down or make you feel bad. Bullying happens to the majority of the population at some point in their lives. Mine was during school years, but what those girls didn’t know is that I dealt with severe social anxiety, general anxiety and OCD. I was in a constant battle with myself from the thoughts and being so anxious. I over thought and analyzed everything someone said to me down to the smallest detail. If someone looked at me I automatically went to thinking what I had wrong with me or what I did wrong. The bullying didn’t help matters, but I found my outlet through reading.

As friends drifted away I would make my way through the school day and did the most I had to do at school so I could get home and read. Reading was at that time and still is my outlet and how I escape from the anxiety and immerse myself in something or someone else. Reading for me helped to calm my nerves and the thoughts so that I could concentrate on what I was doing. Reading helped me develop tricks to pushing the thoughts aside so I could focus on my day to day tasks.

Social anxiety has gotten worse for me as I get older. When I first got married going to the grocery store or out to a nice restaurant would have my anxiety through the roof. Over the past four years I've gotten better with it though. I can go in a store and restaurant without feeling like the walls are closing in around me. I handled my illness different than a few others probably would have, I do admit.

I was tired of battling myself and constantly thinking it was something I did when others looked at me so I tried something different. I read about so many characters that would do this amazing thing and thought to myself, if they can do that I can push myself to do this. Books helps me to push myself go to the store and out to eat more often. When someone looked at me even though I wanted to crumble I shoved the thoughts to the aside, smile and say how are you. Everyone to this day has always said good and how are you, I say good and we part ways. Doing that over the past few years has pushed me further than anything I've ever tried before.

Now I know that the things I did won't work for someone else. You have your limits and triggers and you know how far you can push yourself to go and when to stop. Self-care, especially when you have mental illness is important and necessary. If you need a break, take it. If you need a day off, take it. If you want to spend the whole night binge watching your favorite movies, you do it. Never ever feel bad for taking time to just do you and take care of yourself.

Mental Illness is something that is still not understood by quite a few people and when someone doesn’t understand or hasn’t experienced it, they make fun or belittle it. So, what do we do? We educate them on mental illness and try our best to explain to them what it's like on a daily basis for someone in our shoes. The best thing you can do is talk about it, I know that is way easier said than done. I never shared most of my illness problems till the past few years. I was shocked by how supportive my family and even my husband's family was about.

My biggest outlet for finding others who understood and talked about their experiences was Instagram and YouTube. Along with talking about self-care on my own blog. So many people have accounts/channels/blogs that talk about their experiences with body shaming, eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, etc. You can find out that you are not alone and find a community of people who are so supportive.

My last thing is if you need help ask, there are people out here that will talk to you and show you that it gets so much better. When I was in school watching everyone else in the world I never thought someone like me could be loved. I never thought I would own a home, a car, or even have a successful blog. I thought I was a nobody. Let me tell you my teenage self would be shocked to see who she would become in this world. I learned I wanted to be a writer and started a blog. I hope in the near future I can write my own books to help someone else like they helped me.

I promise you it gets better and things will come up that hurt and stress you out. Life has its twist and turns, but always take time for yourself and do something you love to do. Never feel bad about taking a day to yourself. I know the past five years for me hasn’t been easy, but it has been so worth it. You will find ways and things to help you through whatever your situation is and if you can’t it is okay to say I need help, I can't do this by myself anymore.

I hope you all have a very blessed day.

Much love,
Courtney


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi my name is Courtney. I live in Texas with my husband and 9 dogs. I am a photographer and blogger. I blog about books, music, movies, you name it. I have been blogging for a little over a year and it has become a great creative outlet for me and a way to talk about book with fellow fans. I hope you come and join in on the fun.

Connect with Courtney on her blog, Curly Book Owl.