- Hi everyone my name is Victory Uchenna and I'm from Luton, but I have been living in Sheffield since the lockdown.
Luton holds some of the most important memories in my life as I believe that is where my journey for self-exploration really started. There were a few unfortunate life events that happened when I was a teenager which led me to question a lot about my existence and what use I am to the world.
At 15, I walked into the doctor's office and I was told that I had anxiety and depression. I was put on citalopram for a year and for the first time I recognised that something was wrong and perhaps I had been living in denial of it.
Coming from an African household, anxiety isn't something you talk about, especially as a young girl with two parents and a roof over my head and access to education. There is almost no need to be sad or upset about anything. I had troubles accepting that something was wrong with me for a number of reasons.
Firstly, because I felt a lot of guilt, as I didn't want my parents to think I wasn't grateful for feeling the way I felt and secondly, because of my faith. I questioned how I was supposed to have joy in the Lord when the feelings I felt were so far from that.
I just really wanted someone to sympathise with my feelings or someone that could relate but I was too ashamed to even open up about how I was feeling.
I devised a plan that helped me get out of my depression, which was journaling. I had a blog where I spewed all my feelings on it. I wrote poems, I wrote short stories, sometimes I even just wrote about how my day had been. I didn't really publicise it. I think I sent it to a few of my friends but it definitely helped me a lot and it's something I still do now, but I kind of now I just write it on paper, rather than putting on the internet.
My experience of anxiety and depression as a teenager definitely helped me identify my passion for mental health and my ambition to demystify and normalise emotions and feelings.
I have learned that God is not only there for us when we have physical ailments God is there for us in time of trouble, in time of grief, in time of sorrow and happiness and despair and He understands us through that journey.
I hope that my story has encouraged someone that your anxiety and depression doesn't define you and that you are something much more grander and much more beautiful.