Why Your Story Matters: One Of Our Readers Tells Us Hers
A story is light a lighthouse, a guiding light, warding off the darkness, hope when all seems lost. Fundamentally, a story is the strength to carry on. We share one of those stories with you today, but first, let's get through the pleasantries.
If you're new to MindsMatter, you might think it's just another mental health blog. Well, it is not! We are a community (the coolest on the internet if you ask me). From the beginning, the goal of this blog is to become a space for all of us to share our stories; those that listen to us, and those we can listen to.
Why is it important to share our stories?
Although each mind is unique and different, no matter how rare your disease or condition is, there is always someone else out there with the same diagnosis. Even if you are not sick but are going through a hard time, there is someone who has been through the same thing, who can sympathise, and empathise, who can guide you through the struggle you face now, who can be a pillar of marble support. It is finding a sense of belonging, remembering that no one is really alone and you need not fight on their own.
Your fight is my fight. Your fight is the fight of all of us. No one is stronger on his own than accompanied by others. Unfortunately, some do not have close friends or family there for them, creating the illusion of being truly alone. However, those travelling companions do not have to be physically with you, they can accompany you through a screen. Many have found refuge and support in online communities, where there are millions of people with stories to tell. Some become friends and even family.
Today a MindsMatter reader bravely wanted to share her story, her daily battle, hoping it will become another's relief.
Here is her story:
"I have a fear of dying. I guess you could say it started when my brother died, I was 9 he was 4 and from that moment on my subconscious got to work. There was no counselling, no talking about it, we just needed to keep going, keep everything as normal as possible. Mum and Dad did what they thought was right at the time. So life went on, and everything seemed fine on the surface until I had my own children, then BOOM! Everything I had not “downloaded” from my experience of my brother dying came barging in like a wild bull wreaking havoc with my mind, my daily life, the way I functioned, the way I coped.
My first panic attack came after my first surgery a few months after giving birth to my son. I was in the bathroom and the room started closing in around me, I felt like I was drunk or had taken Valium nothing felt real, I was looking at myself in the mirror and felt like I wasn’t in my body anymore, I have never been so scared In my life, I was sweating and knew I had to get to the Dr quick. I needed help. She diagnosed me with PTSD that I had caused myself with the stress of going into surgery and thinking I was going to die.
That was 9 years ago. I still suffer with anxiety, daily, but I’ve learnt to listen to my body. What my triggers are, what reduces or takes away symptoms, I breathe deeper, slower. I notice where I’m holding tension, I release, I tell myself I am safe and that I am ok. Sometimes a day in bed is what I need and I take that time and I've learnt to not feel guilty about doing that. Becoming more in-tune with my body and listening to it has helped significantly. Everyone’s treatment is different and no treatment is wrong or better. You do you and find what works.
Think of your strength and resilience as a muscle and every time you use it against anxiety, depression, panic attacks, it gets stronger and each time you get better at dealing with it and breaking it down."
Thanks to all who decide to share their stories, since it is not only something therapeutic for the one who tells it, but it can make a difference for someone who cannot begin a recovery process. We can all be part of someone's healing.
Do you have a story to tell?
I know you do, we all have one! MindsMatter is our safe place, and we can make it grow so much more, there is room for everyone. If I hadn't been around the right people, I probably would never have gotten over my mental health challenges a few years ago. Feeling that they were there for me, their empathy, that they cared was what encouraged me to overcome it. Since then, I have tried to be the support for everyone who needs it, which is possible thanks to the internet. I am proud to be a part of this community and to bring awareness to mental health, and together we can accomplish much more.
More stories, testimonies and stories are on the way. Share your story and be the master of your narrative.
We made something a little great! The Anxiety Workbook, get yours by clicking here.