As long as I can remember, I dreamt of achieving big things. As a kid, I wanted to become a race pilot and beat all records, or the first astronaut to visit different planets. One Christmas, I got a telescope and I spent my nights looking at the moon and stars, knowing the names of all the visible constellations. Another year, I received a microscope and spent all winter examining whatever I could find. I even let food rot, just because I wanted to examine the fungus.
Anxiety is a common illness, one that’s finally being talked about, but still often misunderstood. It’s invisible, and because our fear can seem irrational, it’s easy to tell people to ‘just stop being scared’. But it’s never that easy, because if all it took was ‘just having positive thoughts’ or ‘just stop being afraid’, no one would be suffering from anxiety. That’s why I like using analogies when trying to explain what anxiety feels like because sometimes it’s easier for people to understand fear coming from a horror movie or an abusive partner than fear coming from someone’s own mind.
One of the reasons I love weekends so much – besides the fact I can sleep until noon, stay in pajamas all day and work on personal projects – is because I get to take a break from most responsibilities and just focus on taking care of myself and my mental health.
Social media doesn’t have the best reputation, and there are some good reasons for that. It’s the perfect breeding ground for negativity, hurtful opinions, fake news and unrealistic body standards. But it’s here to stay, so why not try to make the best of it? In fact, when used correctly, social media can be a very helpful tool when it comes to managing and improving our mental health.
I’m a woman in tech, often the only female developer in the group. I don’t enjoy wearing make-up, I don’t eat meat, love music from decades before I was born, have a sense of humor that no one understands and my sexuality floats somewhere between bisexual and lesbian. You could say I’m pretty different from most people, which isn’t something to be ashamed of. But I’d also like to point out that all of us are different in some way. And at the same time, we’re all very much alike as well. And still, we often feel alone in this world, not understood, or just plain weird.