Be Courageous. Be Strong. Be Confident...Here is my story:
I'm so excited, fulfilled, and happy that I have gained the confidence to speak up and talk about my anxiety disorders. This past year when I was Miss Hennepin County in the International Pageant System, I had ample opportunities to get my voice out there in the community, I loved every moment of it! Getting first runner up at Miss Minnesota did not deter me, I am planning to compete again next year for the title of Miss Minnesota International 2018! With that, I'm eager to stay involved and continue working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota and the American Heart Association (two wonderful organizations I have been volunteering with for the past year or so)!!
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and panic attacks (since I was around 8-years-old). I recently spoke to someone and tried to explain what it was like to have a panic attack. I told her that sometimes it was over a really stressful situation like preparing to speak in front of an audience,
but other times it could happen while I was running through a field of daisies.
This metaphor reflects the constant struggle panic attacks can have in my life.
However, since I have graduated from my second master's degree and I am now talking about my mental illness and learning great coping options, I have noticed that my panic attacks are infrequent and my anxiety is down a lot! I have noticed a drastic improvement in my health, wellness and most importantly, my happiness in life!!
Remember that you do not need to be ashamed of speaking up to people that you know will support you, like friends and family! It took me awhile to realize that, but I am happy that I have now started the conversation and I am addressing my anxiety!
Please talk to your physician about what are the right choices and steps for you and to talk to a loved one for support through this healing process!
It is time to break down the social stigma of mental illness and to make it okay to talk about it!