A year ago, I had an anxiety attack that totally rocked me. Anxiety feels like a journey that I’m continuously navigating and trying to figure out as I go. Depression comes along for the ride here and there as well.

The shame around mental health baffles me. I’ve lost count of the amount of things I’ve kept to myself about my mental health out of fear of being judged or seen as weak. Which is silly because it takes courage to open up. It takes courage to admit to struggles.

But it can be difficult to open up when it feels like your emotions are dismissed or like what you’re experiencing isn’t real and I think that’s why there are so many people who silently suffer.

I had my first anxiety attack three years ago and things have been an adjustment ever since.

I’ve been on a mission to be more self aware, to slow down and take care of myself in the midst of anxiety.

Last year I experienced chest pain and drove myself to urgent care. When I got there and started talking to them about my symptoms, we quickly found out it was anxiety when my pulse spiked, and I started hyperventilating to the point that I was given oxygen.

Chest pain, continuously feeling nauseous and feeling like I can’t breathe are my signals that my anxiety is at its peak. That along with a lack of appetite and being unable to sleep.

On the surface, people think you’re okay because you’re functioning. In reality, you’re operating at half speed or overdrive trying to overcompensate for how anxious you feel.

It can look like everything is fine, when I’m actually suffocating and gasping for breath. Anxiety can be a rollercoaster that keeps going. A wave I’m riding in life that I’m trying to anticipate.

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