The Daily Gamecock

Column: Finding the release

In the past year, I could count on one hand the number of times I didn't have a tight feeling in my chest.

I have had this feeling before, but it was leading up to certain events: a job interview, a big game.

Now, it is something that wakes me up.

As someone who is Type A, I made excuses for the change in my behavior — that this is how everyone else operates. Last year, I would do my homework a week before the deadlines, fold my laundry as soon as it came out of the dryer and meal prep every Sunday for the week ahead.

Now, I turn in assignments minutes before they are due, my laundry covers my bedroom floor and I couldn’t tell you the last time I cooked a home-cooked meal.

It took me a while to recognize my anxiety. I felt alone in how I was feeling initially. I am a student leader. I am supposed to be the example. I am supposed to have everything together.

But I didn't. It was in conversations with my team, my friends and my roommates, I realized that I am not alone. 

I am not alone.

As a private person, this was hard at first. But as I talked to the people close to me, the tightness began to release. 

It’s because of these conversations that I feel more comfortable talking about my mental health openly. A year ago I would not have written this column. This was hard and painful to write, but my hope is that it might begin a conversation for someone else. 

Here’s to feeling the release.

— Erin Slowey, editor-in-chief