“That conversation doesn’t have to be awkward”

 Hi, my name is Kym,

I have anxiety...more specifically social anxiety, depression, extreme levels of stress (according to the test!) and mild OCD.

Phew! I always feel like I’m introducing myself at an AA meeting when I bring up my mental health. It’s almost part of a personality profile that I use to describe myself and prepare (warn?!) new people I meet with!

I’m so excited to write a blog for Whitney’s project and introducing myself as above is all a part of the “self talk” that I’ve come to understand and learn about.

 When I first met Whits, I was blown away by her beauty, she has one of the most contagious smiles that I’ve seen and her quiet, slightly shy personality always seemed to have a modest amount of underlying confidence!

So when I first read her blurb about starting “that awkward conversation” it made me sad in a way that I didn't recognise her possible signs of anxiety when we worked together.

 Which brings me to one of the biggest life changing times in my life; upon reflection how can I think I should have seen that side of Whitney when in those years I had no idea that I had anxiety, had lived with it for years and had no idea of how it manifested for me.

Each person's journey with identifying any mental health disorders is so individual that a diagnosis can be both reassuring, terrifying and alienating in so many ways.

That is one of the main reasons I am such a huge advocate of talking about our experiences with mental health, the self talking hones in on making us feel even more alone and abnormal.

I choose to share my experiences with anyone who is interested, in the hope it will inspire others to drop some labels and be more comfortable exploring their own journeys.

Exploring anxiety via lots of googling when I was first diagnosed helped me to relate the psychological terms to the confusing and nausea inducing feelings I’d been struggling with for years.

For me researching helped break the topic down enough that I could begin to feel ownership over my anxiety and instead of fearing the label, accept it as part of me and use it to empower myself.

“Knowledge is Power”

This phrase has ironically been part of my life for a long time as it was my high school motto and it always comes back to me because I feel the more I can try to understand something intimidating, the less negative power it can possibly have over me.

I’m hoping to continue to write some guest blogs as I find writing in any form very therapeutic so we’ll see how this one goes and until the next,

Love yourselves….it's something I'm always working on and still trying to achieve, but every day i love myself even a little, life is easier!

Xox Kym