• Devyn

My Mental Health Journey // Where I’ve Been + Why

Hello and happy 2021! It’s crazy to think that 2020 is already over, and man, what a year it was. While I had a weird 2020— like most of the world, I’m sure— I am so thankful for this year and how much I learned about myself and the world as a whole. I did a lot of growing in 2020 and I wanted to share that with all of you. But first, welcome to my blog. The new and improved devynnicole.com! I say that because, if you’ve known me for a while, then you probably know I had a blog way back in 2018. I had it for about a year and a half, but I wasn’t very consistent and I didn’t work as hard as I needed to. There’s a reason for that, but in order to explain that well to you, I need to take it back a few years to 2017.


In the spring of 2017, I was a high school senior who only wanted to get to college. I had tunnel vision on moving to Fayetteville and moving on from Mansfield, Texas. When I got to college, I started off strong, participating in everything I could, from freshman “Rock Camp” to sorority recruitment. I was moving super fast but failing to pay attention to something that was slowing creeping back into the forefront of my life— my anxiety and depression. I’ve always had a hard time with my mental health, but when I was able to live at home and lean on the support of family and not really have any adult responsibilities it was easier to manage. Once I came to college, the sudden independence and ability to do whatever, whenever did not impact me well. I struggled through my first semester, and other than meeting Dalton (my boyfriend of just over three years), I didn’t have that great of a time. Fast forward to the spring of 2018 and I am downright miserable. My mental health had never been that bad before. I’ve never been in a place that dark for such a prolonged amount of time. I tried for a long time to get myself out of the situation I was in without any outside help. I quit my sorority, tried to blog more, and tried to stay focused on the good things in my life. Unfortunately, that didn’t work super well, and because it did not, I am now a huge advocate for leaning on the support of your circle. I’ve had a lot of support throughout the last 3 years, and that is something I will forever be grateful for. Anyway, I spent all of 2018 and 2019 trying to get better on my own and simply having no luck. THIS is why my blog the first time around was so inconsistent, underwritten, and just overall not good. I was distracting myself from the real problem in my life because I couldn’t figure out a working

solution.


Alright, so going into 2020 I knew something had to change. Dalton and I had started talking about getting engaged (we’re still a ways away from that, don’t worry mom), and I couldn’t allow myself to get engaged to this person I love more than anything without getting actual help to become the best version of myself. Dalton and I always laugh because he’s seen me at my worst so we can’t wait for him to see me at my best. In order to get to the best version of myself, I started going to therapy and I was prescribed anxiety medication. Both of these things have TREMENDOUSLY improved my mental health. Also, one of the reasons I quit my sorority was because I felt like I wasn’t being given an opportunity for leadership because I didn’t like to do the things that the girls in charge of giving those opportunities liked to do. I have nothing against the girls in my sorority or being in a sorority— it was just simply not for me. However, this DID really lead me down a path of fearing rejection, so I stopped participating in any extra-curricular activities. One of the things I made a priority when attempting to improve my mental state this year was getting involved in my school and community. I may have over done it a bit this past semester, but I am so happy to say that I am a part of numerous clubs and organizations, and have recently been named VP of the Speech + Debate team here on campus. I’m also trying to get back to what makes me happy, and volunteerism and being connected in a church both do that. Church has been more difficult due to COVID-19, but I am doing well in that area too.


I do want to add a short note here-- many people think that you should only go to therapy if you struggle with your mental health or have some kind of past trauma, and while it's a good resource when working through those things, neither of them are a prerequisite to going to therapy. You can go just to grow as a human being. In my opinion, it would be a pretty boring life if we weren't all growing and evolving into better people each and every day, so why not do everything you can to better yourself? I'm definitely not telling all of you to go to therapy-- just some food for thought.


Long story a little less long, I am doing a lot better than I was 3 years ago. I am very confident in my abilities to write and manage this blog and look forward to what this year will bring. I want to say that while I am doing better, I still struggle and having to quarantine at the beginning of 2020 was not great for me. However, I also know that what I dealt with in 2020 was minor compared to the millions of people who have been affected by losing someone due to COVID-19. I am much more aware of how blessed I am and I’m able to more easily express gratitude for these blessings because I know that I could have had it so much worse.


I hope you all enjoy my blog, and I hope that you continue to read it and support me. I have big plans for this year, y’all, and I really hope that you’ll all follow along this journey with me. Please, subscribe to my emails, follow me on instagram/twitter, and like my page on Facebook. I plan to post three blogs a week, so stay tuned each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!


Love you all SO big!


Devyn



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