Mental health is a funny thing. One moment you're totally fine, and the next you find yourself crying into your hot chocolate.

I've been dealing with anxiety for longer than I care to mention, and I've dealt with pretty bad depression in my life as well that went totally undiagnosed until I finally reflected on it at the age of 21 and could only think; 'holy shit, how did nobody notice?'

I'm going to be 23 in a months time, and truthfully the reason nobody noticed was because I hid it really well. I learned to lie to myself and the people around me so well that everybody thought I was okay, or just antisocial. Anxiety and depression didn't even come into the equation. And it shouldn't be like that.

I'm still really struggling with my anxiety. I'm better than I was but at this current period in my life, I'm struggling. I'm finding myself not washing my dishes nearly as much as I used to,  and my clothes only get washed once I realize that I have no clean clothes left for the next again day, but the thing is.... I know the signs. And I realize that I'm struggling. But, I also know how to get the help I need, or even just how to stay afloat long enough to pass this point in my life by.

A lot of people don't realize the support available out there for them. And honestly, a lot of that is to do with the fact it's not easily known about, despite how easy the services are to access;

1. My school had a counselor that you were able to go and see. I never used this service. I didn't think I needed it. I thought counseling was for people with extreme depression or anger issues, not people like me who just 'gets paranoid sometimes'.

2. I saw my doctor about a variety of different issues, and said 'no' when asked if I had anxiety issues. I didn't think I had anxiety and my doctors just believed me. I suppose they had no reason not to.

3. When it was realized that I had anxiety, the first thing I was given was a link to 'MoodJuice' - a site that is designed to explain MH issues and give 'tips' for how to deal with it. I never used it. I simply glanced over it.

4. After MoodJuice, I was given the option of attending a stress management course. I went along to it, but felt I never got anything from it because it was all things I knew. I never used the booklets and music they gave me, although I still have them.

5. Throughout all of this, people continued to recommend the local mental health clinic to me. They told me it was no appointment needed and I could simply pop in whenever suited me. I didn't go. I liked appointments because appointments force me to attend.

Eventually, I went to the local mental health clinic, and I'm so glad that I did because it was a relaxing environment with a counselor who actually cared about me getting better. I only had 8 sessions but she helped me a lot and taught me various coping mechanisms- such as grounding.

It's been a year since I went to counseling, and I've found myself in a much better place - I got myself into university and I'm managing to live by myself for the first time ever. I even got a small promotion at work! But I'm still not happy.

And that's okay.

I know that things will get easier over time, I know that even though I have intense thoughts about dropping out of university, or about getting up and moving away, or about what job I want in the future, or deadlines, or relationships, or my appearance, or whatever! I know I'll get through this, because I've survived almost 23 years now.

So, even though I spend the majority of my day wanting to burst into tears,
I know I'll be okay.
And if you're going through this as well, please know that you've got this. You can get through this, you're never alone.
And if you're contemplating about whether or not to seek help, or go to that drop in clinic... DO IT. Because it honestly helps so much to know that there's support available to you whenever you need it.

I believe in you.

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