Welcome to MENTAL

A collection of stories ON mental health experiences

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“The silent anxiety attacks, hidden by smiles, confidence and perfectionist ways make every day feel like living a lie."

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"Maybe that's what life is ... a wink of the eye and winking stars."

- Jack Kerouac

For me, high functioning anxiety looks like achievement and perfectionism; meanwhile none of it brings me any joy or satisfaction. It's having a constant underlying sense of fear, even when there's nothing to be scared of - your mind makes you feel like there's always something to worry about.

It's a strange feeling when you're told by others that they admire your endless energy and positivity because what's underlying feels so real. The silent anxiety attacks, hidden by smiles, confidence and perfectionist ways make every day feel like living a lie. You never let it sneak out, but for the highly observant, hidden details like constant punch-in-the-gut aches (which lead to loss of appetite and nausea) provide new insight into the unrelenting stories in my head.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

The small wins - like picking up the phone to return a call - is an act of bravery. There was a time when I was inspired to find and join the crowds to make a difference. Today, those feelings don't come without a lot of effort. I read something recently that makes a difference: "It's finding your own humanity in the anxiety, in your weaknesses. It's trying to let the energy inspire you, instead of bring you down." It's learning again how to live every moment. Be in the moment - be present to the sights and sounds around you.

When did I forget?

“No matter what we encounter we always seem to bounce back, get through and keep going.”

“Going into prison changed me. It broke barriers mentally that were holding back so many issues, and it all seeped out at once.”