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How My Mental Health Affects My Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

For a lot of people, mental health can be a daily struggle. It’s something that often flies under the radar, as a lot of people tend to brush it off. For me, it’s something that varies from day to day. Somedays I feel totally fine and can function. On other days, my anxiety becomes so debilitating that it’s hard to even make it out of bed. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned some tips and tricks to help my anxiety ease itself. However, sometimes I just have to let it win. Anxiety makes it really hard to do some day-to-day tasks, such as homework, socializing, and even just getting dressed. Of course, it affects everyone differently. This just tends to be how it affects me. With school being a big part of my life, this is where a lot of my anxiety stems from. Between schoolwork, friends, clubs, and so much more, it can often feel very overwhelming.

Trying to balance everything can be a lot. I currently have three jobs, school, and I’m in two extracurriculars. This doesn’t even include trying to find time to hang out with friends, talk with my family, go grocery shopping, and lots of other essentials. All of this building on top of each other can feel like a Jenga tower waiting to crumble – one wrong move and it’s over. My anxiety can get so bad that it’s hard to complete necessary tasks, and then I get nervous about nothing being done. Oftentimes, I’ll try to get everything I can done at the beginning of the week or as soon as I get it so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Trying to find time in such a crazy schedule can be challenging, but lucky for me I’m such a freak about planning and time that I often have what I’m going to do for the day planned down to the minute. My mind is constantly running about what still needs to be done and when it’s going to be done. It’s exhausting going day to day feeling like you have a ticking time bomb in your head that can go off if one single thing goes wrong throughout your day.

Not only that, socializing is extremely hard. Making friends is difficult because it’s hard for me to even start a conversation, let alone keep one going. I overthink everything anyone says, especially anything I say. It’s hard to sit in a conversation overthinking any little thing that comes out of my mouth. I still think of conversations I had in middle school, analyzing what I could’ve said differently. That being said, it feels extra hard to make friends because if I don’t say exactly what I feel like I need to say, they aren’t going to want to be my friend. My brain really struggles to read how people feel about me and it just sort of defaults to everyone disliking me until proven otherwise. I think and think and think about how to get people to like me, as I so desperately want to fit in. It’s ok to not fit in, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to feel. I feel like I belong with individual people, but never really in a group. Maybe I have, and my anxiety just convinced me otherwise. That’s the evil thing about anxiety; it puts a lying lens on your eyes and brain. What I perceive or remember what happened is often different than how other people remember it because the way I felt or interpreted it was different. Also, it doesn’t help that I have a complete and total RBF. I promise you guys, I am really nice and am not as mean as my face makes me look.

If you’ve never felt or experienced anxiety, let me give you an insight into how my brain works. Picture this, your classmate is walking by in the halls and they give you a half smile. What do you think? Would you assume that person might know some of your deepest darkest secrets that you’ve never told anyone ever in your life? No? Well, that’s what I think. And trust me, I know that they don’t and they were just smiling at me as a formality, my brain just literally can’t help it. My anxiety feels like one of those little devils on your shoulder telling you what you know isn’t true, but I just can’t help but think. It’s like a constant battle in my brain between logic and giving in to what my anxiety says. Most of the time I’m able to fight it off, but sometimes I just let it win because it’s just so overbearing and exhausting. There have been days I’ve missed class, skipped social events, and much more just to give in to my own brain.

All this being said, I’ve learned so many ways to push through. Sure, sometimes it’s easier to just let the anxiety win. But to work through whatever evil things your brain may be saying feels so rewarding. It’s such a good feeling when you’re nervous to go out with friends and it ends up being the best night ever, or when you drive yourself to an anxiety attack over a test only to end up getting an A. Mental health can be so difficult and everyone experiences it so differently, but just know that no matter what you’re feeling, you can get through it. You are powerful, you are worth it. No matter what the case is, it’ll all end up being ok. One of my favorite tricks for when I’m anxious is to think; what was I doing at this exact moment five weeks ago? You can’t remember, can you? So whatever the big deal is now, it isn’t going to matter in a few days, weeks, months, etc. Almost everything is temporary, and the only thing you can be in charge of is you. And you are awesome! You are loved, worthy, and valued, no matter what. May this next month be filled with nothing but love and peace, and everything is going to be ok. I pinky promise.

Zoey Dennis

Cal State Chico '25

Zoey is a Senior here at Chico State! She is a Liberal Studies major who would love to teach high school history. She has always loved writing and teaching, and Her Campus is such a great outlet! In her free time, she loves to go out with her friends, spend time with family, listen to music, and enjoys exploring Chico.