I Am Not Alone

I Am Not Alone

by Robbie Millward

I grew up in a "normal" environment. We've all heard it before; single mom, dad out of the picture, struggles, triumphs, smiles and tears. That's how it was for me too. Except I've always had this "off" feeling within me. Some people referred to it as worry—that I was a worrier—so much that a nickname I had was Worry Wort.

When I didn't feel this unease, I felt numb. I used to have these thoughts that scared me. They scared me of what they would say about me and how they made me feel. I was in a constant state of worrying about what others were thinking and saying of me. These thoughts that no one liked me, that I was taking away from others' happiness, thoughts that I didn't deserve to live ran rampant in my head, and still do.

I was once told that suicide is a crime. So these suicidal thoughts were illegal? The fact that I was always thinking about it, made me a criminal? I thought so. So much that I never spoke to anyone about it till I was 21. Asking for help was an extremely hard thing to do. There was so much fear. But that fear didn't outweigh the horror of what I've been feeling. The horror of what I've been thinking. Getting help, to me, was like inserting a pressure release valve allowing me to let some of these things out.

After 21 years of feeling this way, I learned that I was not the only one. That I wasn't alone. That things can and will get better. All after asking for help. Life hasn't been perfect since then. I've had some big stumbles with my mental health. But I learned that I wasn't alone and help is there, all I had to do was ask.

I reached out to ADAA for a few reasons.  One to share my story with others in an effort to provide the support that I get from reading other stories. Secondly, to keep up to date on my education about anxiety and depression to better understand myself and help others to understand.  And lastly, to attend events and meet others like me.

Did you know that you aren't alone either?

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