I'm Lindy and I've lived with generalized anxiety disorder for over 20 years. I've had more panic attacks than I can count, I've had many bouts of major depressive disorder (including postpartum depression), I'm an attempted suicide survivor, and I've been a patient in a mental hospital three times.
AND I am also a full-time teacher, a single mother to two wonderful teenage children, a returning part-time college student working on my second Bachelor's degree (psychology major), and an avid world traveler.
I live in the midwest United States with my 2 kids, a very hairy but lovable black Lab dog, and the sweetest Ragdoll cat.
Mental illness is part of my life (and always will be), but it does not define me. I live with my diagnoses, but they don't control me or the choices I make in life.
If you are interested to learn more about me and my complete story, check out my full mental health journey here!
A few things I want to make clear before I go on:
1) I hope that you are not feeling pity, a sense of embarrassment for me, or even worse, judging me or thinking I am "crazy" or "insane" (some of the most cringe-inducing words to me),
2) What I do hope you are feeling is either a sense of "someone else knows what I'm experiencing - I'm not alone!" or "if this somewhat normal girl can have mental illness and talk about it, maybe it's not all that uncommon and I could learn a thing or two," and
3) If you've ever experienced any of those things, I want you to know that I'm not just some talking head that "just doesn't get it" - I've lived it and I'm still walking the path with you on a daily basis.
I am not a doctor or a psychologist (yet...more on that later) and I will NEVER give you medical advice or try to diagnose you in any way, shape, or form, but I DO know a thing or two about mental health.
I created AnxietyAlly.com as a way for me to write about my experiences with mental health, connect with others who have been in similar situations, and speak out on the need for ending the stigma around mental illness.
It is my goal to make this a place for anyone to come to read more about what it's like to live with mental illnesses (specifically anxiety and related disorders) and to connect with others.
I want to make it clear that I am NOT offering any cures, solutions, quick fixes, or to make your mental illness(es) go away.
There are pages where I talk about tips that have helped me in certain situations, products that I use currently or have used in the past, and books I have read that have helped me in my journey, but I am not "cured."
In fact, I find it not just cringy but downright suspicious when I watch videos or read websites/blogs written by people claiming they have "broken free" from their mental illness(es) or that they have found the one solution to fix it...
If you haven't already noticed, they are usually trying to sell you something!
It's either something they have directly created (a book, a supplement, a technique, a program, etc.) or they receive a commission from selling it.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have lived with panic attacks and anxiety for over 20 years, and I have yet to find the "magic bullet." I don't believe it exists.
What I do believe, and have experienced, is that through the combination of:
I have been able to reduce my day-to-day anxiety, I have far fewer panic attacks, and it has been a few years since I've suffered with a bout of major depression- but I am far from "fixed."
So I hope you will join me here - become a part of the conversation and connect with others, add your comments, vent your frustrations, send me your questions, and connect with me on social media!