Behind the Smile: A Reality for Me
There are a lot of things that we as humans have to deal with, and a lot of those things are hard to talk about. However, in an effort to be completely transparent with you, I am diving into a topic we don't talk a lot about on air. What you don't hear on air is all the prep that goes into our show and the back and forth about topics. Because our audience is widespread, we really have to pick and choose carefully what we discuss. On the other side of that coin, we also try hard to keep you guys up to date with our lives. And when we're struggling with something, we try to talk about it.
So why have we not dipped into mental illness? Well, because for the most part it's easy for me to cover up, tuck deep down inside and not let it show. There are days when I want to cry and scream because my brain is moving so fast with all the negatives that I lose track of the positives and it gets extremely overwhelming. I don't let those feelings ruin a fun-loving laughable morning show ... or at least I try not to.
What is it exactly that I deal with, you ask? I suffer and I say suffer because, if it's not diagnosed, anxiety, depression, and PTSD can be completely debilitating to the point where some days I do suffer, my family suffers and coworkers like Gunner suffer.
Today is a good example of how quickly anxiety can take me over. The morning started off great -- in fact we were on Facebook live around 8:10, laughing and having a great time. But 30 minutes later I stumbled over the Bull Buzz and I knew it didn't come out right. After that, I was almost in tears. My brain was telling me I wasn't good enough for this job, that Gunner was criticizing every word that was coming out of my mouth and I could not find any good in the morning. Listening back to the show, all I could hear were my blunders and missed words. Even as I was sitting there being told that it was a good segment, every fiber in my mind and body told me no: "Cheyenne, you are getting fired, the next corner you come around you are going to hear someone talking about how terrible you are." You're probably thinking, "Wow, that is a little much for anxiety. There has to be more." Well, there is.
As some of you might know, I had a previous relationship that was abusive. Not physically, but mentally. I was constantly told how I would never be anything. Day in and day out I was told how horrible a mom I was, how I wouldn't have what I had if it weren't for him. His lies and abuse were so entangled in my mind that I truly believed all of these things. And the worst part is that even though I am physically removed from this situation, mentally some days I am still trapped. I hear his voice, his yells and his screams in my head telling I am not good enough. When I am having a great day and something doesn't go right, I spin down the rabbit hole -- much like today -- and I go back to being the girl in the bathroom with the shower on so he wouldn't hear me crying. What is the result? I am exhausted by the end of these days, mentally and emotionally. But you know what? At the end of the day, I still have to get up and be a parent, an employee, a significant other, someone people depend on.
So why am I telling you this? Am I looking for a pity party and for you to tell me it's all OK? No, because first and foremost I know it's going to be OK. I have a support system, unlike no other, and people who love me and outshine the past. What I am doing, is trying to bring awareness, because we don't always realize what people are dealing with -- mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD can come in the form of the girl who smiles back when you smile, says hello and holds the door open.
And it can also come in the form of the girl who tells really bad jokes in the morning and then laughs at herself to the point of snorting.
We are so lucky to have resources here in Yakima that helps those who are battling abuse and mental illness. If you need help there is nothing to be ashamed of for reaching out, in fact, I would argue that it takes an incredibly strong person to ask for help.