My journey learning about my own mental health and studying to support others with their mental health and the curve balls life throws at us all is an ongoing one. One that I’ve struggled with my whole life. Unfortunately in 1980’s rural Australia mental health was a relatively unknown subject. I had never heard of anxiety disorders. I didn’t know why I reacted to seemingly harmless situations the way I did. I didn’t know why I was scared of new things, or ran from crowds or was terrified to push open a closed door when I didn’t know what was on the other side.
Thanks to some amazing therapists, understanding gained thorough undergrad studies in counselling and intervention strategies, and a lot of challenging introspection I understand myself better. I understand how to limit the effects of anxiety, how to keep my mind calm when my heart is pounding, how to recognise when I need help and have the skills to ask for that help. Oh, and not make particularly stupid decisions borne out of fear.
I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I know what works for me because I tried different strategies until I found the ones that clicked.