My purpose in sharing my story is more about the journey of finding hope in many forms to help ease the pain that anxiety can bring to an individual. For me I didn't realize I was suffering with anxiety and depression until my early adulthood. At the age of 18 I remember feeling tremendous stress, in particular when it came to trusting in friendships and relationships. And a huge part of this was from developing friendships in circles where I was harassed or bullied since the age of 14. The bullying ended up turning into a reflection of how I saw myself and I began to jump into a downward spiral of choosing to associate myself with negative traits, and thereby choosing partners that reflected that persona as well.
I was always told by my parents that life would get better and I would just keep waiting and waiting for the day. But the truth is I never thought that day would come. At that point in my life I had no friends at my side.
Little by little I began taking one step closer to finding the hope in my life, without even realizing it. I turned to my faith in God as well as my passions for poetry, photography and psychology, which opened up an avenue for me to express myself. As a result, it helped me cross paths with amazing individuals that went through similar experiences and could sympathize with my anxious and depressive-like behaviour. These were individuals I would never have thought of crossing paths with on my own, but through the connections we made in our passions, they ended up being the support I needed and the friends I'd always prayed for. I found my hope and it was in my passions and my love for deep connections with amazing people.
In the end, I want anyone struggling with depression or general anxiety disorder to know this: Life isn't a fairytale where we struggle and everything is positive in the end. We will always face new challenges and obstacles in every major change and chapter of our life, but how we can persevere is by finding our hope in each situation. Whether it’s in a hobby, a connection with people, a creative outlet (like music or poetry), or fitness; everyone has a different version of their hope and what helps keep them grounded in their dark times. And my hope for you is that you find yours like I found mine.
- Alyssia Nahar