August Warrior – Isabelle

August Warrior – Isabelle

Hey There! And welcome to my next Warrior of the Month. This month comes to you from one of my favorite #bookstagrammers! Isabelle!

I can relate to this girl in so many ways it’s insaaane. She is such a brave soul for sharing her story with you all and I hope for a great reception for her. Not everyone wants to share these details for good for her for doing so.

Hello! My name is Isabelle, I’m 28 years old and I suffer from anxiety disorder and depression. I wasn’t always aware of the name of the labels but I know I always suffered from it. For as far as I can remember, this ball of anxiety has been a part of me.

I remember being very young and telling my mother I was nervous about going to school the next day. Some kids lie about being sick because they don’t feel like going to school, I lied about being sick because I was too scared of going to school. And so that’s how my elementary school years went on, I was this overweight stressed out girl who wondered why it was so hard to be happy like all the other kids. They made happiness seem so easy.

Then high school started and like everyone else I thought I was entering the best time of my life, because that’s what they tell you. They tell you they would do anything to go back to those years and relive it. But the truth is, my truth anyway, is that I still have nightmares about it and I would give anything to just forget. See, I started hanging out with those girls. The kind of girls that don’t quite make you feel good about yourself but are able to make you believe you need to hang out with them to be accepted and happy. Until they get tired of you. And they got tired of me alright. One day, just like that, they turned on me and I became the number one target for every bully. I missed 2 weeks of school because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, turned on me. I would receive threats at home and my parents ended up calling the police because the threats just kept on becoming more serious. Calling the police helped stop the threats but it didn’t give me my acceptance feeling back. For months I ate my lunch in the bathroom because it was easier than having to face everyone. Once again, I was that overweight, unhappy, anxious girl.

You need to know that I come from a family where everyone suffer from anxiety. Both of my sisters and my mother suffer from it. At that point my sister would have full blown panic attacks and my father didn’t understand it very well which led to a lot of anger in the household. So I thought it better to just keep my feelings to myself because why throw oil on the fire?!

Then high school was over and I thought “This is it, I got through it and I will finally get to be happy”, if only it was that easy. I started smoking a lot of weed because I thought it was helping me relax and that went on for years. I had a hard time working and had to quit a lot of jobs because my anxiety prevented me from getting to work. And then I met this guy. The kind of guy who doesn’t really make you feel love but knows how to manipulate you into thinking you need him to be happy. That’s when my anxiety disorder and depression got out of control. I spent those endless evenings waiting for a call and wondering why he wasn’t calling. Why wasn’t I enough? Why was I never enough? Why do they always end up turning on me? But then he called and the worst thing that could happen, happened. I got pregnant.

I knew right away that I couldn’t have that baby. I was a 20 years old girl with no job, an addicted absent boyfriend and panic attacks all the time. I had nothing to offer that baby. How can I be enough for a baby when I can barely live with myself? And so I got the abortion. And it destroyed me. I remember coming out of the clinic and thinking I have never felt this alone in my life. And so I became numb to the world. All I wanted to do was sleep all day and cry all night. Every time I crossed the street I would think about how comforting it would be to be hit by a car and be done with it. Because not feeling at all is easier than living with this pain, right? So one night I was in my room and something inside of me clicked. Why not be done with it? I picked up those 2 bottles of pills and gulped them down. I still remember the feeling of the pills going down my throat. I don’t remember much about what happened next but I called a friend to say my peace and that friend called my house to tell my parents what was going on. One of the few things I remember about that night was my father asking me if I was happy with myself while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The thing I remember the most is that feeling of not caring at all. For once in my life, I didn’t care about my father’s yelling because it would all be over soon. But it wasn’t.

The years after that were spent trying to survive depression and anxiety. I spent most of the time out, smoking weed because it was the only thing that made me feel good. Until about 3 years ago, when smoking weed became a source of anxiety itself. I started having panic attacks every time I would smoke and be around people. So I locked myself inside my room.

But something in me changed at that moment. I decided I wanted to live and I wanted to survive these diseases. So I seeked help and decided that this time, I would accept the help I would be given. I stopped smoking weed, I even stopped drinking alcohol altogether because any kind of high would make me feel anxious. I turned to books to replace that high and oh, did books become my safe haven. I started seeing a psychologist, taking medication for my mental health, went back to school and started dating a nice guy who was there for me and encouraged me to become the best version of myself, one I didn’t even know could exist. My sister gave birth to an amazing little boy and being present for her and for him gave me the opportunity to grief for the abortion I’ve gotten and got me to realise there was good things in this world. My nephew will never know just how much he helped me only by existing.

Most people think anxiety means being over stressed and depression means being sad, but the truth is anxiety means being afraid to get out of your room, it means not being able to be with other people because you feel like you might die, it means over thinking every little details of your day because what if you did something wrong that leads to catastrophic consequences, it means not being able to take the bus or work because you can’t help but think of all the things that could go wrong. Depression means losing all your vitality, it means losing motivation and wanted to stay in bed because it’s the only place where people don’t expect anything from you, it means bursting into tears for irrelevant things like being out of milk for your coffee but mostly, it can mean losing your will to live. 

I fought this battle for as long as I can remember and I still fight it on dark days. I’ve hit rock bottom a few times but I kept on fighting and was able to crawl my way out of this dark hole. There are days when I still want to say screw being strong, screw fighting back and just let the darkness engulf me. But if you’re not fighting for yourself, at least fight for the people who love you. So I will keep on fighting for the people who love me but mostly I will keep on fighting for me because I deserve to be happy and I deserve to have control over my life. 

So today I’m asking you to stand by my side and fight back with me, as long as we stand together we are not as alone as we think we are. And when you have dark days, think about me. Know that I’ll be there standing strong with you. And if the days get too dark, know that I’ll be there fighting for you.

Isabelle.

 

Thank you lovely, for sharing your story with me and my readers. This is still a controversial topic and the fact you were brave enough to share really inspires me.

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