My struggles began in adolescence. My once smiling and sunny demeanor began to change and I had difficulty coping with life, especially social situations. I could be the life of the party or curled up in a ball in my room. While I was known as the girl with a smile on my face, that smile masked dark thoughts and depression.
My life has been marked by loss and resiliency. Throughout my childhood I navigated many deaths, most due to the aging family I entered as a late-in-life baby, but others that occurred much before their time.
To me anxiety feels chaotic and out of control. Life is happening around me, and I don’t have ability to slow it down. In this situation, I try to organize the external chaos so my internal environment will start to feel less stressed and more organized.
Just recently I was elected President of the Ed Lally Foundation. I am honored and humbled by the trust of Jordan and Megan and the rest of the board.
I have been on boards before; finance committees, school boards, recreation boards. Those were easy and comfortable for me. I can be the numbers guy. But, President of a mental health awareness board. This is different. This is outside my comfort zone. And that is why I said yes without hesitation.
Whatever works for you, no matter how busy you think you are, you need to make that time for yourself, for your brain. There are no AP classes, sports awards, job requirements, or people that are more important than your own brain health.
I’ve been depressed, anxious, angry, and sad. A few years ago I struggled with suicidal thoughts. It was a pretty dark time in my life. I couldn’t see any light, even though now I am aware it was inside of me the whole time...
For as long as I can remember I have been a person who always had a genuine disdain for myself. I am not someone who has had a horrible childhood or a person who has had a significant life changing event that contributed to this feeling. I have had the most supportive family and friends throughout my life that have been there at every turn to try and lift me up.
So why this feeling you ask?