I learned a lot in grad school: how to analyze qualitative and quantitative data, how to develop a theory-based intervention or health advocacy campaign, how to prepare a research proposal for IRB approval or a manuscript for publication. I also learned what it’s like to experience symptoms of a panic attack–to suddenly feel your heart race and your head swim and your chest clench like a fist and wonder if you’re dying or just losing your mind. I learned what it’s like to feel supremely lonely even when you’re surrounded by other people, because those other people don’t, and never will, understand. I learned what it’s like to feel yourself transform from a once joyful, driven, enthusiastic young woman to a cynical, angry, and apathetic stranger–and to feel powerless to stop it.  I learned what it’s like to dread getting up every morning to deal with life and to dread going to bed every night to deal with your own thoughts. 

Hi there. I’m Paige, a twentysomething Midwestern gal who recently graduated with my master’s degree and a whole lot of emotional baggage. Now that I have my diploma and a bit of extra time on my hands, I’m finally doing what I needed to do long ago: prioritizing my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This blog is my space for documenting and reflecting upon my experiences as I attempt to begin a new, and hopefully brighter, chapter in my life. It’s also an avenue for sharing my story with others, for opening up a dialogue about the inner demons we all face and discussing how we can all take better care of ourselves and lead more vibrant and compassionate lives.

As a result, posts will likely cover topics ranging from anxiety and depression to family and faith, from perfectionism and vulnerability to music and yoga, because all of these are part of my life and therefore part of my recovery. I hope you’ll stick around and join me on this adventure, because none of us should have to go it alone.