Would you believe me if I told you my deep downward spiral of anxiety and depression started with a headache? Well that is partially true, but the headache was really only my trigger. I realized that the past two weeks I have given some advice and insight into anxiety itself but maybe less about what actually happened to me. I think it is important to hear that things you wouldn't even know could be affecting you can just be building up over time. Tick tick ticking away like a bomb. Because that is exactly what happened to me.
Let's take it back... Do you remember this post? That is when the anxiety really started to affect my day to day life again but looking back I can trace it further to where it actually began. If you go back to December you can find a post called "A Lesson in Rejection". This is the root of where my anxiety planted its seed. September of last year (about a year ago - that is crazy in my mind!) I decided to rush. It. Was. Hell. While I am happily a Delta Zeta now the road to get there was horrible.
Long story short, I was the target of a very cinema-like mean girl bullying and it crushed me. Being told from a group of girls something is wrong with you (even if you KNOW they are wrong) does not help that voice in your head. I lost all my "friends" overnight in one clean sweep. Even a girl I had known since high school and did everything with - poof. Just gone like nothing happened. And while they went on with their lives mine started to stall.
Now back to February, and I am having the worst jaw pains of my life. Somewhere deep inside of me there was a huge battle with anxiety happening (without me even grasping it) causing me to clench my jaw as tight as I could every day. It was like my body knew I was unhappy, knew I was avoiding life and knew that I have a massive wound that never got a chance to heal and I was still so angry about it.
This caused MAJOR headaches that ramped up the more anxious I got. So by June, I still hadn't even realized anxiety was the culprit, but my body did. My body remembered being walked into that sorority house and treated like crap. My body remembered what it felt like to have friends and then to feel the emptiness of new ones, better ones, move away. My body remembered it and help onto it so tight that my nervous system was F%*#ed.
A couple trips to the ER later and I found myself in a psych ward.
How did it all happen so fast yet so slow? Looking back I can see that the discomfort my body felt with every headache and jaw pain made me feel incompetent and quite frankly just plain bad. For years I have been my own worst critic telling myself every day that I was not good enough and was not worthy of a healthy, happy life. AND deep down inside that wound was saying the same. exact. thing. These thoughts only made the jaw pain and in turn headaches worse - it was a vicious cycle that I couldn't break.
Even typing this post I can see there was no clear path to my low point or one thing that I could've done to maybe make it better, but now I do know that life happens. Girls happen, people happen - mean, nice and everything in between. And guess what? Headaches happen too, but if I can process these things in a way that don't tell myself "you are less that what is good" then I won't clench, and then I won't have as many headaches and then maybe finally I can get on with my life because I am pretty damn happy to be living right now.
So yeah, it kinda all started with a headache, but now I can thank those headaches and those girls for this new chapter in my life I was given. It has had a horrible start but it is about to be great. Living life with less anxiety and pains makes me so happy.