Persist, don't give up, and move forward!

My name is Susanna (@sujanee) and I’m a #PhD student studying #publichealth.

🏥

My mental health journey continues to be a muddled road as I explore ways to maintain a healthy headspace.

Through various traumatic events from childhood to college, I got good at #suppressing. Midway through college, I found out I had an #autoimmune disorder and one of the first symptoms was #alopecia. I developed super swollen lymph nodes in my face and neck. For months I avoided getting my picture taken and I was embarrassed to let my hair down. Later on, I also became part of #metoo📷

After years of not processing some of these critical emotional experiences, an incident on a vacation trip #triggered me, and I had a breakdown. I made the decision to seek #therapy.

One of the misconceptions about therapy is that once you start, all your problems become crystal clear. This may be true for some, it was the exact opposite for me. The process of growth in therapy was painful because it required digging up the very things that I had hidden away. From identifying traumatic events during childhood to finding roots to my #anxiety and #depression, every week in therapy was draining. The most difficult time was in my second year of my MA degree- I found it exceedingly hard to enjoy the things I loved: hiking and yoga (called #anhedonia).

"Sometimes, things get worse before they get better." It’s part of the #healing process. So #persist, don't give up, and move forward.
Today, I keep my autoimmune at bay. My rheumatologists call me their favorite patient because all things considered, I’m physically healthy!

Mental health wise, I’m trying to reframe my thoughts to avoid being trapped in a negative headspace filled with self-hatred, doubt, and sadness. I hike, exercise, read, etc. I nurture my passions.

I encourage everyone to seek therapy, whether you feel like you have a “problem” or not. Introspection takes courage and I am so thankful to have found an IG community that advocates for #mentalhealth in empowering ways. The hardest part for me was knowing what and when to ask for help. Let us all grow and #struggletogether.

Check out my blog:!www.sujanee.com/


Originally posted on Apr 9, 2018

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