In my freshman year, I made my varsity basketball team and was in accelerated classes. On the outside it looked like everything was going perfectly and I had it all, but internally I was struggling. There was so much to do, and so much pressure to do more, and I was trying to keep it all compartmentalized. I knew with the big goals I had, I needed to sacrifice a lot to get there. I was burning out at the same time I realized that there were things brewing inside that made me question who I was.
I hit a very low point during the pandemic. Suddenly I didn’t have access to my one outlet and the practice and structure that had been the activity I poured everything into. Everything crashed down and the feelings I’d stuffed down so deeply came bubbling to the surface in ways in which I didn’t understand.
It was a really hard time. I talked to my parents and they helped me find a therapist, and in the short term I took medication to help me feel better. The idea of those treatments were really scary, but they helped me feel better. In time I was able to heal and find peace, and in the process discovered so much more about who I am, and allowed me to be more authentic in every way.