My Struggles with Anxiety and Depression

I’ve debated whether or not to write this post for some time. I then debated whether or not I should post it after I wrote it. Does this even fit with The A List? Is this an appropriate post to have on my blog? But while this topic is so extremely personal to me, I’ve tried becoming more and more open about my struggles with anxiety and depression on social media lately. With talk of mental health awareness becoming increasingly prominent in everyday life, I felt it was time to fully open up about what I go through on an almost daily basis.

I have anxiety. I have depression. It took me a long time to even feel comfortable uttering those words out loud to my friends and family, let alone saying them to myself in confirmation. As someone who seemingly lives a life of adventure, happiness, and opportunities I never thought possible, I have had people say to me that I should not be someone who suffers from any type of anxiety or depression. But this is where that statement is wrong – anxiety and depression are not picky. They do not discriminate. They can happen to anyone, and I happen to be one of those people.

So what does it mean when someone says they have anxiety or depression? Well, it’s different for everyone. For some it’s genetic. For others, it’s brought on by events in their life, medication, or abuse. For some, it’s both of those general causes. In my case, it’s both. I suffer from a panic disorder, anxiety, and depression – brought on by genetics, events in my life, and previous abuse. I have been suffering for years, and while I see an amazing therapist every week, that doesn’t mean I’m still not battling these disorders right now at this very moment. Almost every day I am struggling to fight against my own mind and all those thoughts my anxiety and depression like to trigger. It can be exhausting and sometimes feel defeating.

In 2011, shortly before I left for Las Vegas to compete at Miss USA, two of my closest friends and my boyfriend (Tor) intervened and saw something was not right with me. I couldn’t get excited about anything. I had no motivation to do anything. I became paranoid about the world around me. I preferred being cooped up inside and would not leave my house. The littlest things would rattle me and ruin my entire day without explanation. Out of frustration for all my undiagnosed anxieties, I began scratching myself raw until I bled. I had marks on my arm in an attempt to alleviate this unexplainable need to eradicate all the emotions I was feeling. I felt trapped in my own body with my indescribable emotions, and I had no outlet to let them out. I couldn’t even put words together to explain how I was feeling. I didn’t know how.

With that, a friend set me up with her therapist where it was pretty much confirmed I was suffering from depression and anxiety. Both had been brewing underneath the surface for a while and as it turned out later on I had been struggling with these issues for years. A week later, I left for Vegas to compete at Miss USA on NBC where I ended up winning the title and had to move to NYC 12 hours after my coronation for the next 12 months. For someone just diagnosed with depression and not having any sort of grip on it whatsoever, this ended up proving to be extremely difficult. Not only was I leaving behind the safe haven of my home in Los Angeles, this new therapist, and my supportive boyfriend, I was now being thrust into the spotlight having coveted the title thousands of young women competed for in that year alone. I didn’t want to let down the organization, my fans, myself, or all those young women who wanted to be Miss USA. I had tried for years to become Miss USA, and the dream had finally come true. So, I bottled everything up thinking that this exciting life as a celebrity for a year would be so fun and busy that my depression would fade away. Wrong.

After my disastrous experience competing at Miss Universe three months later, which only aggravated my issues with my mental health, it became clear to the Miss Universe Organization that I was not well and that I was really struggling. Instead of dethroning me (they never even considered it), they looked into a therapist for me to begin seeing every week if my schedule allowed it in New York City. While I never fully was able to get a handle on my anxiety and depression for the rest of my reign, I was able to struggle a bit less than I already was towards the end. She immediately put me on medication for both anxiety and depression, and she also introduced to me the idea of an emotional support animal. She made sure her dog was present at every session of mine, seeing that I tended to calm down and feel more at ease with an animal in the room – preferably in my lap.

This is where my cats Renly and Dany come in. A month after my reign as Miss USA ended and I was back living in Los Angeles with my boyfriend (Tor), the president of the Miss Universe Organization called me to say she had friends who rescued four 2-month old kittens and that she knew I was looking for a therapy animal. One fateful July afternoon in 2012, I came face to face with my fur babies and brought them home. To say they have helped me in my treatment would be an understatement. They even sense when Mommy is about to have a panic attack, and Dany in particular will come lay beside me and not leave my side until we are both asleep. Sometimes when the world seems to much to handle, all I need to do is look into their eyes to feel “okay”.

Sézane dress (old, similar here; also love this one and this one)

Since moving back to Los Angeles in 2012, I began seeing a new therapist every week thanks to one of my bestest friends, and over the years my therapist and I have made some great progress. I am no longer on medication, as my therapist and I like to work things out as naturally as possible unless medication is absolutely necessary (i.e.: Xanax is needed on flights.. sadly there’s no natural solution for me for that one!).

But I still suffer from anxiety and depression, and I probably always will suffer a form of them in one way or another for the rest of my life. My last bout of depression lasted from late February through late April (I battled nasty depression during my birthday and throughout our Ireland trip), and I am currently battling my latest bout which began about three weeks ago (this explains why I rarely show videos of myself on IG Stories at the moment). Getting excited about things actually takes effort. Feeling inspired to leave the house to simply go grocery shopping takes effort. Feeling happy when there’s good news takes effort. I have been in hiding from my friends. Phone calls go unanswered. Texts go unanswered. Tears continually roll down my face. Feeling like I am unworthy, a joke, or a failure takes no effort when you’re suffering from depression. There’s no way to simply “snap out of it.” People with depression will understand that. Besides, there’s nothing we can “snap out” of.

My anxiety also comes in waves. Unfortunately, my anxiety and panic disorder have been sky high for the last month or so, resulting in crazy hyperventilations, severe heart palpitations which aggravates my heart condition, scratching my legs until my nails break skin and I begin to bleed, nausea and vomiting, and crying hysterically out of nowhere. Sometimes I cry because I have no explanation as to why I am even crying in the first place. One of my biggest issues with my anxiety is the thought that everyone hates me. I have it set in my mind that no one likes me, and that I need to constantly try harder to make my own friends, family, and business partners think I’m a good person. This is something I’ve been battling for more than 20 years. It’s one reason why making new friends can be so hard for me, since I am already convinced before they meet me that they already do not like me. After I leave a party or a dinner with friends, I begin panicking in the car on the way home that maybe I said something wrong or was misinterpreted, or maybe I made a bad impression. I’ll dwell on that thought for so long that it can lead to an aggressive panic attack.

So why did someone with anxiety and depression choose a public career? Well, fashion, travel, and writing have always been great outlets for me to express what I love most and what I am most passionate about in life. As a child, playing dress up was a way for me to not only get my start in “fashion”, but it was also to escape my own life and pretend to be someone else. The same with travel. I used to beg my mom to buy me travel books (at the now defunct Waldenbooks) starting when I was 10 years old because I always dreamt of being elsewhere. My blog is everything I had been wanting to do since I was a little girl. However, it’s not always easy being a blogger with anxiety and depression. There are days I make that awful decision to begin to compare myself against other bloggers, question my style choices, question our travels, or even question my ability as a blogger. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be happier doing anything else. Navigating social media can definitely be a challenge for someone with anxiety, and I won’t lie and say I do not fall down the rabbit hole often. But I know who I am and I know what I have to offer, which helps give me the boost I need.

Since becoming more and more public with my mental health issues over the last year, I’ve probably had hundreds if not thousands of messages from some of you sharing your own experiences with anxiety and depression. I’ve gotten extremely emotional reading them, since it actually helps me knowing that I am not alone. Depression has this affect on you that makes you feel all alone in an already big world, and that you’re the only “crazy one” that is feeling… well, crazy. But you’re not crazy. I’m not crazy. We just fight more battles each day than others, and that doesn’t make us weak or inferior. It actually makes us stronger in the end.

Lastly, I just want to take a moment to thank my amazing husband for everything he has done to support me and be by my side. My severe struggles became apparent very early on in our relationship, and he didn’t run away. In fact, he’s always been eager to help me and encourage me. I won’t say it’s been easy for him. Far from it. In the beginning, he wasn’t sure what to do to help me or what he was supposed to do in general. It broke his heart seeing me in the state I was in, and it also frustrated him when he wasn’t sure what he could do. But he has been incredible. He’s one of the most patient people I have ever known, and not once has he ever judged me for what I go through. He can tell the signs of an oncoming panic attack faster than me these days, and he immediately whips into action to prepare me for what’s about to happen by laying me down, holding me, speaking softly, and stroking my hair. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him enough for all that he has done to support me with my mental health struggles. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay him enough in this lifetime alone. I am so grateful to have him here by my side, holding my hand, kissing my forehead, and reminding me that I am not crazy, that I am a strong woman, and that I’ve got this.

If you are struggling with depression and/or anxiety or know someone who is, there are many ways you can help. If you’re unsure what to do, there are a few emergency hotlines that provide assistance and support such as BetterHelp.com and the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Remember – you are not alone.

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog shares her struggles with anxiety and depression

 

 

Photos by Torrance.

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45 Comments

  1. You are so strong Alyssa. It breaks my heart to hear this. I’m wishing you all the best to get out of this wave of depression that you’re in at the moment. Oh and, we all love you!! You were the one person who inspired me to start blogging too. You helped me plan out my trip to Iceland. Oh and even to start watching Game of Thrones. I know it’s not much seeing as I don’t know you in person, but you’ve inspired me as I’m sure you have inspired many others. Keep on fighting! You can do it.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  2. Thank you so much for this, Alyssa. As someone who has struggled with anxiety for years and wonders if it’s possible to pursue the career I want (working in the business side of theatre!) with it, this is so inspiring to me. I’m also trying to get better about speaking out about my experiences because I know how much less alone I feel reading that you suffer from the same things.

    Sometimes I need a reminder that it’s okay to have an amazing life and still suffer from something like anxiety or depression — that’s just how they work! I also worry a lot that my anxiety means that no one will ever want to be with me so it’s amazing to hear how supportive Torrance is.

    I wish you all the best and thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder that having a condition like anxiety or depression doesn’t mean you’re crazy or unlovable. You are so strong! x

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  3. I struggle with depression and anxiety as well. The “everyone hates me” part is the hardest part. Not only am I depressed and anxious, but now I also feel like a burden to everyone and so alone! I told my doctor recently that I was so scared because I actually really love my life – I basically have everything I’ve ever wanted – so why aren’t I happy? It’s a scary and hopeless feeling.

    I’m so glad you have a fantastic support system in place. Thank you for you are using your voice to empower others who are struggling. You are fantastic.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  4. Ellen Newlands

    What a brave girl you are to
    openly and honestly share your struggles. Your beautiful blog was the perfect platform. I love to read about your experiences. You and your hubby remind me, 23 years in to my marriage, of how it all started. You also inspire me to keep on traveling and dreaming.
    You keep doing what you’re doing and knowing that your blog and IG stories and posts bring enjoyment and keep that wanderlust alive in others.
    Very best of wishes to you and to Torrance.
    ❤️

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  5. Daniela

    Thank you 💕

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  6. Erika C

    Thank you so much for your honesty Alyssa – it helped me so much when you opened up on social media, and I realized I was not alone, and depression can happen to anyone, even those with the seemingly “perfect” lives.

    I fell into a deep depression after getting married earlier this year – all the major changes happened so fast and I didn’t take it well. Pair that with Winnipeg’s lack of sunshine during the winter = not fun. I felt so lost because aren’t you supposed to be the happiest after you just get married? I am happy to say that with therapy and time I am doing much better.

    You are so brave and strong – keep fighting and being the awesome, inspiring woman that we all love!

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  7. Christa

    So thankful that you posted this. I have been dealing with both recently. This is so helpful because at times you do feel like you are the only one through it. You are wonderful and strong women!

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  8. Olga

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have family and close friends who have struggled with anxiety and depression, and I know it is not easy to talk about. Hearing your story is important for others to know that they are not alone and that it is ok to talk about it, and people trying to support family and friends struggling with anxiety/depression to know they should try to help, but that it is ok if they aren’t sure how. And maybe most of all your blog post is important for those who may not know much about anxiety or depression, to help them understand that it is an issue for some people and that they should aim to be open-minded and not judgmental in the future. I think we are coming to a point as a society where people can speak openly about mental health, but there is still work to be done. You are strong and brave for sharing this, and your blog post is helping more people than you know.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  9. Siobhan

    Love you very much, and you are not alone. My poor boyfriend saw me having a panic attack for the first time recently and he was a rock star. Albeit a confused as hell one, but fabulous nonetheless. I can’t thank you enough for using your voice to tell others that it is OK, that things can get better, and that they are not alone. Hugs and cupcakes to you, my friend!

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  10. I read your history while I was on my way to home from work… and I was trying not to cry… my first thougt was God! Im not alone in this.. this has been happening to me under many years.. and How remarkable, brave woman you are! It is not easy to talk about it… to feel I not enought! Not good at anything.. no matter how hars try… I just want to tell you Thank you! This has been like a drop in the desert to me.
    Thank you!

    / K.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  11. Shannon

    Thank you for the post. It always helps to know you are not alone or “defective” in these struggles. The part about fretting on your interactions after a party really resonated with me. I do that to this day, even seeing my dearest friends. Now that one I thought was just me, so thank for sharing. I also have the fear of flying, super embarrassing when I travel for work. I used to be fine and it hit me all of a sudden 10 years ago when some disruptive things happened in my life. Anyways, thanks and keep up the great work. You do you.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  12. Megan

    This was a really brave post and I want to thank you for sharing it with all of us. There are so many people that look up to you and to see you struggle with similar things, those people can feel a little less lonely. You’re right, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help and admitting that something is not right. I don’t suffer from depression but I do have pretty horrible social anxiety sometimes and I understand how debilitating it can be. Don’t worry about it this is something you’re supposed to post on your travel/style blog, people love you and love hearing the story of how you got to be this great person. I’m so glad you have Torrance to comfort you and even predict when something might go wrong. Like you said, most men might run out of fear or annoyance. He’s truly a gem. All you can do is keep on the great path you are on and hang in there during the tough times knowing you can do this. All of your fans are always here for you anytime you need some extra support. Take care Alyssa and thank you again for this bravery!

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  13. Thank you for sharing this! It’s never easy talking about something so personal but I’m sure you’re helping a lot of people feel they aren’t alone!
    I have social anxiety so a lot of the time I avoid going to events and parties because I’m afraid of everyone judging me and doing something stupid and everyone seeing. I know hardly anyone is watching but I just can’t shake the anxiety and feeling. I’m getting married this month and am doing a private ceremony because I just can’t stand the thought of all our guests watching us say our vows. I’m nervous with just our parents and the officiant being there!
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  14. Brittany

    That was the most beautiful thing I have seen on this blog. Clothes and scenic photos might be breathtaking and gorgeous, but honesty and raw emotion is the highest beauty (to me). Thank you for sharing this, Alyssa. You truly are a beautiful person, inside and out. Stay strong. ❤️

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  15. Madelin

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Although I am terribly sorry you deal with these struggles, it is nice to know I am not the only one feeling this way. I too struggle with both and it is overwhelming to say the least. I know different things will work for different people and it’s always nice to hear what works for others because it might just work for me too. So thank you. Xo

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  16. All I can say is thankyou, thankyou for sharing, thankyou for being honest, thankyou for providing a platform for people to express their own mental health issues. I have a panic disorder and sometimes for no reason I will just cry and feel miserable….. but reading that my favorite blogger has similar issues somehow makes me feel less alone. This is the one case where I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel, but I really also believe that we can all get through this. Mental health is so important I just wish more people where as honest as you Alyssa. Thankyou.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  17. Belen Garza

    I have never felt this way before. I have never read something so powerful and captivating which makes me feel like I actually know something. I had no idea you were going through this. I had no idea of what depression or anxiety felt like or your point of view in this. My best friend struggles with the exact sam etchings you just described, and it is so hard for me to try to help her because I really don’t know how. I didn’t know how to make her feel better or calmer. When I got home I cried because I had absolutely no idea of what I could do. But now that i’ve Read this, I can finally understand her. I have never read a blog that explains this topic as raw and honest as you just did. While reading some of your feelings, I can relate to some of them, I don’t know if I’m exaggerating or anything, but this has made me open my eyes to a very big part of the world. I’m forever grateful that you shared this with us. You are so strong and it breaks my heart to know what you’ve been through. You’ll always have us, no matter what.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  18. I’m not great at knowing what to say when people open up about stuff, but I want you to know that I think you’re really strong, and you seem like such a great person, and I truly hope your struggles get easier. Take care ❤

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  19. Kristine

    It’s always nice to read about your life and get to know you even if not in person. That’s wonderful that you have found natural ways to treat your anxiety and depression. I have read that sunlight and exercise can help. I hope you feel better soon.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  20. Kristine

    It’s always nice to read about your life and get to know you even if not in person. That’s wonderful that you have found natural ways to treat your anxiety and depression. I have read that sunlight and exercise can help. I have a lot of pets and love animals. It is nice to know that other pets can be therapy animals not just dogs. I hope you feel better soon.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  21. ann lavine

    I have 5 beautiful amazing cats and I struggle with some of the same things. MY amazing cats know when i need comforting and they are there.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  22. Editha Herrmann

    Hello Alyssa,
    i am very impressed of this personal entry.
    I wish you many power.
    You are a strong and beautiful woman .
    Thanks for the very personal insight in your life.

    ❤❤❤

    Editha

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  23. Molly Laird

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have had depression and anxiety since for over ten years now. I was in middle school and I had a doctor tell ask me what I had to be depressed about etc. but I was seeing him for was a disability and let’s say I don’t see that doctor anymore. I have only recently been branching out more. I know how hard it can be. I do understand how you feel.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  24. Alyssa, this post has really resonated with me. As someone who goes through periods of depression, intense anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve been battling this for years, and I’m proud to say that I’m in more control of my panic attacks these days as I have not had one in a while. I definitely agree with the power of the furry companion as for me, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel marks the start of my greatest progress with my mental health. I love my cats too, but my lap dog has the additional benefit of helping me go outside as when I am going through a bad patch I want to stay inside and hide from the world.
    Despite progress, there are days when things get hard. I feel like I cannot breathe and have no energy to do anything, I feel like a waste of space and spiral from there… then the worrying begins. My atopic dermatitis worsens and the physical manifestations make me feel really down. I can’t always pinpoint why these dark spells happen, usually, it is related to environmental stress. Although we may have different experiences I can empathise with how you feeling.
    Through my Psychology studies, my personal experience and that of others I have learned that recovery is not about vanishing mental health problems: it’s ongoing and it is about trying to manage and cope with day to day life. It sucks that you are going through a bad period, but try to remember that after the dark times eventually comes the light.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  25. Kelsea

    I am so thankful to have come across this. Thank you for sharing. More than half of what you wrote brought tears to my eyes..because it is all so true. I’m struggling with both anxiety and depression at this moment and have been for years. Some days I feel as though I can’t even be who I know I can be or want to be. Which agitates it all even more and it does come in waves. I always forget that I’m not alone.
    This is a reminder that I can keep pushing on ❤

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  26. Océane

    You are an incredible woman ! So inspirational and strong. Dealing with depression and anxiety is complicated (I know it) and putting some words on it can be hard…
    But to me, the worst part of it is the world around me. To most of the people that I have me said on thing to me : you’re young, you’re only a student… so what ? I don’t have the right to be sick ??? Anxiety is my daytime demon and depression can defeated me for a little something. I have the luck to be well surrounded by lovely people.
    I appreciate that you have the bravery to speake about this issue, to show that Instagram is not the perfect reflexion of our lives and that a smile can hide something more darker… Thank you so much for being you, there for us and to make people aware about the all dimension of those problems ❤️

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  27. V.

    Wow. This is all too real and relatable. Hard to read without shedding a tear. Thank you for speaking out so openly in a way I probably couldn’t. Always admired you- but now even more.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  28. Alyssa- thank you for opening up and sharing your experience. I’m not fully knowledgeable about depression or anxiety, and you shed such an important light on the struggles and importance of talking about it. You are loved, you are brave and you are so strong. I’m always here if you ever need anything, with a judgment free heart and open mind. I wish you the very best!

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  29. Paula

    You are incredible and brave, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you putting this out into the world. I have anxiety issues brought on by past trauma, and you are right, it is important to know that you are not “crazy” for feeling the way you do. My husband also suffers from severe depression and anxiety, so I have been in Torrance’s shoes over the years, as well. Knowing we are not alone in our daily struggles is encouraging to me, and I’m sure others.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  30. Fran Nocerino

    You are an incredible loveable loving person that means so much to so many. Thanks for sharing your story. My husband suffers with a lot of the same but refuses help.

    Sending you hugs, kisses and much love 💕. May God always hold you close and guide you through the hard times.
    Fran

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  31. Stef L

    Dude! As my mom always said “Everyone has their stuff”. I love the therapist. I have adhd and anxiety but I was raised being told “if you have an issue just explain what’s happening.” It sounds so simple but just being able to say “I’m having anxiety” or “sorry I don’t remember a word you just said because I have adhd” makes it so much easier. I completely believe your therapist’s goal should be to get you off meds…but why struggle all the time? I think a lot of the time the worst part is other people’s reaction to your issues. Like if someone repeatedly asks me what’s wrong before a flight and I say I have anxiety. I would much rather someone say “aw crappy I’ll leave you alone” than try to help or pity me. I don’t need help or pity…I just need like 10-15 minutes to have anxiety in private.

    Thanks for posting this! Animals are awesome.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  32. Lauren

    I have been struggling with anxiety, stress, and sometimes with depression. It is an uphill battle each day. But I got a great support system and have found ways to combat it. I have good days and bad days. You are an inspiration to me in many ways. Keep fighting and stay strong

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  33. Nicole

    This was absolutely amazing to read. It’s nice to know that you’re never in this alone. Thank you.

    Posted 9.4.18 Reply
  34. Inês Grilo, the lil’ teen with a lot of free time

    You are so inspirational, Alyssa. As a person who has seen what depression, anxiety and panic attacks does to people, how much damage they can do to one’s mental health, I must say: You are strong and, as an admirer of your work and, well, I can’t say person with 100% of certainty, but with basis on what you showed in this post and have been showing since I started following your IG account and blog: You are someone, indeed, to be admired.

    I wish you all the best and a way you can pass through (Is this the correct way to write it? Lmao, I’m sorry if it’s not xD) all of this again. Remember— The most important thing os to remember: People love you, your family loves you, your fans love you, Tor does too… And your cats? They love you and love you even more when you give them treats. 😂😂 And I love you because you showed me what I want to be when I go to college. A designer. A fashion designer, pr, at least, a fashion influencer. (^v^)

    Anyways, praying for you here in Portugal! ❤❤

    Posted 9.5.18 Reply
  35. Hope

    Beautifully and bravely written. I hope you never regret posting this – it was absolutely the right thing to do. Thank you on behalf of everybody it helped.

    Posted 9.5.18 Reply
  36. Martha Tsaliki

    Dear Alyssa,
    I believe that every person in this world, some more among others struggle. Also, there are so many different types of struggles some mental some physical. I could say that I struggled too during some periods of my life although I am only 22 years old. As you said it can happen from so many different things. The point of me though writting this comment is to say that when feeling lonely or unwanted there are many windows that someone can open to escape from this situation. Firstly, you could open this window by helping those that are in need, there are so many people that do not have those previleges that we enjoy. I can say when I help other people this action gives me the greatest relief and happines I could gain. Secondly, when we wake up in the morning and we see our selfs in the mirror we need to alsways remember that a new day has started forget the yesterday and try to start something new inspiring and try to fullfill your new goals and believe in your self. People like you Alyssa that have influence can make other peoples life change. Believe me as a fun a recieve positive vibes from your colorful stories and travels. When I had a supper bussy day studying for my school I go back to bed and I see your stories and stories from other people that travel and that gives me joy to try even more so I can travel in the future and achive my own personal goals. Set your goals and future plans and try every day to achieve just a little piece of it that what makes people complete.
    PS. I believe in the power of mind and will of each person.We are capable. I believe in you, and your strength you will win this.

    Posted 9.5.18 Reply
    • I truly resonate with what you say about helping others, in my case I am very strong and had cope with some many emotional aspects (emotionally abused as a child, growing in a very poor and dangerous environment and being force to leave my country Venezuela due to dictatorship) at the same time I consider myself an extremely lucky person in comparison to the realities my family and friends are dealing with back home. I find huge relief and hope in helping other around me, it allows me to go out of my own mind and to experience life in community. Alyssa, Volunteering, donations, story telling, being there for others may open a new reality of love and appreciation for life and at the same time help you with the symptoms you experience. Also I would like to recommend all of you two books about the nature of femininity: Women that Run with the Wolves and Wild Power, they open new doors of wisdom and understanding, despite a seemly happy life or whatever each of us reality is, we are crying the tears of our ancestors, we suffer the pain of our mothers and their mothers. Thank you for bringing out your authentic self 🙂 gracias if any of you want more info on this please reach out seilayrg@gmail.com

      Posted 9.6.18 Reply
  37. There are tears running down my face reading this because it is so relatable. You are such a strong person and thank you so much for sharing your story with us for I know it has to be hard.
    Your are so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving husband to stand by your side to encourage you❤️ #uareneveralone

    Posted 9.5.18 Reply
  38. Penni Lynn Smith

    Thank you for sharing this. I wish I had someone like Torrance to be with me during my episodes. But that will never happen. I’ve lost my feelings to be intimate with anybody and I have NEVER been intimate with anyone. I grow sick and old alone. I try to focus on other things but during holidays it is the worst. Take care and thank you.

    Posted 9.7.18 Reply
  39. Cecilia

    Trust me, everyone gets anxiety❗️
    No one’s life can be carefree, that’s what I learned about life.
    THIS POST REALLY SPEAK TO MY HEART.
    Thank you for speaking out. ♥️♥️♥️
    Alyssa you strong woman:)

    Posted 9.7.18 Reply
  40. You’re very brave, and I’m grateful for your voice. I’ve written a lot about my own depression on my blog, in case it helps you feel not-alone.

    (I found your blog just before my worst two-year stint, and jumpers & jasmine was a sweet treat for me during that time <3)

    Posted 9.7.18 Reply
  41. Margaret

    Dear Alyssa,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I too struggled with anxiety and depression, went to therapy for years, and was finally diagnosed with GAD. To this day I struggle with feeling excited about life ( particularly after losing my father to cancer 4 years ago), and am scared to be in a relationship with someone because of how my feelings could affect it. It comforts me to know that there are others out there like yourself who also are going through this. Thank you, Margaret on NYC
    Ps. I would love to be your friend!

    Posted 9.10.18 Reply
  42. Vona

    This post meant so much to me. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for more than 18 years. I go up and I go down. I’ve had bouts where I’ve had to manage it with medication and bouts where I am able to live my life without it, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s completely gone. It’s just as you described – there’s no particular reason for these feelings. There’s no particular reason I want to be shut away, locked off from people, find it hard to feel excited or happy but pretend to be otherwise. It’s simply a part of life. But your post came at such a perfect time. I’ve been feeling very sad, very anxious, and very lonely (despite the wonderful people around me, despite the good things that are happening in my life). I’ve reached the point that I want to push everyone away, I’m waking up and immediately beginning to cry, making myself physically ill. It was comforting to read about someone else who struggles too.

    Posted 9.16.18 Reply
  43. Michelle Knohl

    Thank you so much for this post. My husband started suffering from anxiety several years into our marriage. It was always there, underneath, but neither of us knew what it was. Since putting a name to it, we have been working together through anxiety attacks, medication addiction and adjustments, insomnia, and all the other things that can come along with anxiety. I can honestly say that we are stronger for it. I will also say this: as the person who isn’t the sufferer, it’s hard sometimes to know what to do to help – or even if I truly am helping. But reading about strong couples like you and Torrance gives me courage to keep doing my best to be a blessing in my hubby’s life, just like Torrance is in yours. Sometimes, I’ve learned, the best way to help is just to be loving when the anxiety doesn’t make sense, to be patient when emotions run high, and to never give up when the fight seems impossible. Thanks for being an encouragement to me. I love your blog! Reading about your travels, your passion for the things you love in life, and the cute outfits you post makes me smile. Keep it up, girl! You got this. ❤️

    Posted 9.20.18 Reply