Today, I had a bad panic attack. After being informed I would not be getting a raise this year after a poor performance review (a can of worms all on its own) followed by an email accusing me out of hand of doing a thing I did not do (or rather, doing a thing wrong that I had indeed done correctly, but again, semantics), I tried to have lunch and center myself.

I took a chill pill, but my body wasn't having it. I tried to reason with myself that I was overreacting, but my subconscious wasn't having it. I'll spare you the gory details, but I ended up excusing myself from work and promptly went straight to my family doctor's office in hopes of seeing someone as the engine warning light was on, as it were. The nurses and staff were accommodating and sympathetic, a mental health counselor just so happened to be in (serendipity!), and I basically prostrated myself and every embarrassing detail to multiple people which further removed me from the situation.

I'm okay...right now. But the truth of the matter is I got all the way to a breaking point, and maybe even well over that line, and I had to walk away. The important thing is, however, that I did. Yes, I was on the precipice, yes I had "bad" things happen, but I kept it within the realm of the personal and did not do what you all expect me to, which is FLIP OUT, MAN!

Laureate is notoriously difficult to get into with any sort of expediency, so that's why I didn't even think to go to my psych. I had a problem and I went to a fucking doctor. Mostly they just helped me calm down, but some wheels were set in motion to try and take better care of myself. Why am I sharing this with you?

Because it needs to be normalized.

I am broken, meds and therapy help! But I am an individual coping with depression and anxiety. They are passengers in my brain who sometimes jerk on the steering and I have to correct. Sometimes there's overcorrection, sometimes there isn't enough. But meds and therapy probably, most likely, helped me do the right thing today. You never know who's going to be set off by what, and it can be completely inane, but this illness, affliction, call it what you will, is a real thing that affects real people, of which I am one. I am not ashamed. I've been embarrassed! But never ashamed.

This is a part of me. This is me. It's also people you know. You wouldn't hit your friend's broken arm, you wouldn't tell them to get over their head trauma, and you wouldn't give your opinion on how to better deal with a parasite eating their guts. I trust my team of professionals. Every person should feel so compelled to reach out for help and expect it. If I can make these things any easier for any single person, if you want to talk to me, or are inspired to reach out for help, then that's what my openness is for.

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