"I learned that courage was not that absence of fear, but the triumph over it."
Anxiety has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. It's something that has been passed down generation to generation in my family, like an invisible heirloom none of us want but that we can't seem to get rid of.
This illness clings to our DNA like a parasite, sleeping deep in our brains, waiting to present itself when our environment calls for it. My biology helped to create the person that I am today - an empath. A compassionate introvert with a passion for art and knowledge, who lives their life guided by their heart and the desires innate in their old soul. But as with most things, it created a dark side. As a shy, sensitive person, I feel things strongly. Happiness and excitement send me over the moon, but sadness and anger drive me down into miserable cesspools that feel impossible to crawl out of. Anxiety is my inner demon. It feels like this fear takes the form of tiny particles latched onto every molecule in my body, hanging onto every part of me, refusing to let go.
I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), depression, and a rare dissociative disorder known as Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder. In my lowest point, these illnesses managed to take nearly everything away from me. But in those dark moments, I found ways to rebuild broken structures inside of me with stronger materials. I trust my engineering skills better than ever before, and I know that I have the courage to persist through this life, to continue finding things to enjoy, people to love, and experiences to be proud of.
In those times, I looked for something like Courage Box - something proactive that would help me take charge of my own recovery. Something trustworthy and long-term that wasn't overwhelming or one-size-fits-all. When I couldn't find anything, I decided to create it - for myself and for others. Courage Box provides you with tools to learn what strategies help you feel better. Yoga works for me, but not for others. Aromatherapy works for others, but not for me. Courage Box gives you the chance to fill up your toolbox with things that work for you as an individual.
If you are struggling, it's important to take advantage of a combination of resources. Talk to your doctor, book an appointment with a counsellor, and look for support groups in your area. I understand how difficult these things can be - waiting lists are long, counsellors and medication can be expensive, and all of these resources are stigmatized in our society. But I promise you that it is worth it. I hope that Courage Box can be one of many resources you decide to use in your journey with mental health. Treat it like an adventure - be open, try new things, and never give up hope.
Now, let me send you off with a picture of my cat.