Behind Melissa's Mind
For as long as I can remember, I was an anxious person. There were times I wondered why I had that butterflies in my stomach feeling for no reason at all. It made sense years later when I’d be crippled with anxiety to the point I couldn’t get out of bed back in 2017. I went to my doctor because I thought I had something seriously wrong with me, I had a mess of intense symptoms - headaches, stomach pains, brain fog, etc. We ran every test possible, everything came back just fine. My doctor went a different route, looking at my mental health and she diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Looking back that was the best thing that ever happened to me, it gave me clarity and guidance. She suggested a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Being at my own personal rock bottom I opted for both. I tried a few medications until we found something that worked perfectly for me, something I am still on today. And I made a call to a therapist she recommended, who I still see today and love. Throughout those few years I’ve managed to learn a bunch of tools that help tame my anxiety, I continue to learn daily. I have good days and bad days, sometimes I think wow I don’t have this anymore, but it sneaks up on you and can send me right back into my bed not wanting to face my day. That’s anxiety for you! For me having a smart, compassionate care team behind me has been essential. I communicate with my doctor regularly and see my therapist weekly. I feel lucky to have access to these providers and the medication I take. I openly talk about my journey in hopes to reduce the mental health stigma. I know speaking out has inspired others to seek therapy or start medication. That’s the best feeling, taking this ugly monster of anxiety and using it for good - to let others know they aren’t alone and it’s okay to get help and that you will get through this. One day at a time!