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Filed Under: Personal
Lindsey’s Mental Health Journey: An Interview

Lindsey’s Mental Health Journey: An Interview

By Lindsey Glasser

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post in relation to how I feel. It does not mean everyone feels this way. I am just trying to share my experience and others I’ve known. I wrote this as a way of expressing myself and my own mental health journey. Each of us experiences things differently so don’t feel left out if you don’t 100% connect to this post! Everyone’s mental health is unique to each person.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we each decided to do an interview and answer a set of questions. We wanted you to get to know us on a deeper level and learn more about our mental health journeys. I know this post is a bit delayed but I am excited to finally share more of my story with you. 

Who are you?

I’m Lindsey, Co-Founder and COO at Grey Bandit. I’m 26 and from Long Island, New York. I am one of the founders and writers for Ride The Wave, along with a few other roles. There is so much to come with Ride The Wave so stay tuned for more! 

Do you have a diagnosis? If so, what?

I do not have a medical diagnosis. I get situational anxiety and have struggled with self-love. Recently my anxiety was through the roof because I was dealing with a lot personally. More to come in another blog post on how I’ve coped with this onset of lingering anxiety.

What does mental health mean to you? 

Mental Health is something that is so important to me. I try to check in with myself to see how I’m doing- something I started within the last few months. “How are you doing, really?,” is such a loaded question but truly an important one and can possibly lead to a weight being lifted off your chest. For so many years I would hear that I need to make myself a priority… that I need to take care of myself and my own mental health. I realized if you don’t take your mental health seriously it’s really hard to be present, happy, and productive in all other aspects of your life. Mental health is JUST as important as physical health. I don’t think a lot of people really understand that but I hope through this blog people can realize how one’s mental well-being can affect so many aspects of their life. I know it took me time to come to this realization but I’m happy I finally did. 

When did your journey begin? 

My journey really began at the end of my senior year of high school. This was when Courtney, my sister and co-founder of Grey Bandit, was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. When I first heard those words I felt sorry for her. I really didn’t know the gravity of what that meant. I was young and naive but so desperately wanted to do my best to be understanding. Flash forward a year later and I experienced my first real experience with anxiety that lingered. This heavy weight on my chest and knots in my stomach. I couldn't eat or sleep… I had realized that anyone can experience mental health related issues at any point in their lives. 

In college I was also struggling with self-love. Social media was becoming more popular and I started to compare myself more and more. I hated that I saw myself in such a negative light. These experiences combined really kickstarted my passion to research and normalize conversations around mental health and mental illness. In more recent months, I went through the same experience with anxiety that I had in college but on a larger scale… I was overwhelmed and having trouble sleeping and then I started to have anxiety about not being able to sleep. I sought help in the beginning of June from my doctor and also got a therapist recently. I’m still on my journey, trying to help myself, and also continuing to educate myself and grow everyday.

What is the hardest part about having a mental illness/ mental health?

I think the hardest part about mental health is feeling like your emotions and thoughts are out of your control. Thoughts start to ruminate and you truly believe what your mind is telling you. It becomes difficult to remember what grounded me in the first place and I get frustrated that it isn’t always easy to get through. There is no “quick fix.” It is something that you have to be cognizant about and continuously work through. 

When did you become a mental health ally? 

I became a mental health ally towards the end of my freshman year of college. I knew what Courtney was going through and had become friends with people in college that struggled with their mental illness/mental health as well. That, combined with my first real experience with anxiety, I knew I had to do everything in my power to educate myself and become an ally. I am a very understanding and empathetic person so I wanted to educate myself and others. For me, there was, and still is, nothing more frustrating than hearing an “outsider” on the topic make rude remarks about what my sister or other’s like her were/are going through… “Just pull yourself together.” “They’re just doing it for attention.” “Why can’t they just get over it.” “Mental health isn’t real.” “They’re just crazy.”  Hearing those stigmas out loud really struck my core. I felt defensive because they simply didn’t get it and I knew that those stigmas could and will negatively impact a person who is already struggling day to day. People do not always realize the weight their words carry and one remark like that could be someone else’s breaking point. These remarks are what fueled my passion to become an ally and help destigmatize mental health and mental illness.  

What are some stigmas you have faced?

The number one remark I’ve had said to me is “But you seem so happy and calm all the time! I don’t understand???” I am generally a happy person but that does not mean I don’t struggle or go through periods where I feel anxious, overwhelmed, or just sad. Mental health and mental illness does not discriminate- anyone can struggle at any point in their life. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d give myself a few pieces of advice. You deserve the kindness and understanding you give to others. If you learn to stop being so hard on yourself it will be easier for you to be present and happy. Just know that it’s okay to be perfectly imperfect. That is what makes you who you are. OWN IT and love yourself.  You’re human just like everyone else. Try not to get so worked up over things you cannot control- it’s not worth the space it takes up in your mind. 

What are you grateful for? 

I am grateful for the support I have around me everyday- from my friends, my family, therapist (something I know isn’t easily accessible for all), and this community. I’m grateful to even have support because I know not everyone does- for those that don’t, we see you and we are here for you.  I’m grateful for the “small” things like the air we breathe and the water we drink. Being grateful for the small things really helps me put the more difficult things I’ve gone/go through in my life into perspective. 

I hope this post helps you get to know me and my story a bit better! I am excited to be on this continued journey of self discovery and growth. If there is something you would like us to talk about in future blog posts be sure to comment below!