Updated: Mar 28
So, as my first blog entry, I would like to begin with an introduction and tell everyone why this safe haven was created.
To start out, I’ll give you a small background on myself for everyone who does not actually know me. First and foremost, my name is Lynee´ (La-nae) Belton and I grew up in Clinton, MD with my mother (Lynett), father (Wynard, “Nard”) and littler sister (Nyla). My family raised me in a Christian household and my faith has only grown since childhood. One of the main things I loved to do when I was younger was play sports. Throughout my lifetime, I have participated in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, track and field, gymnastics and cheerleading. So, as you can tell, sports have always been a big part of my life. At the age of 12, I went to my first basketball camp and due to my height and body figure, it was obvious to me that I could take this task on seriously, or at least try to. If you knew me when I was younger, and even now, I am a very clumsy person, so a lot of people did not have much hope in me. I tried out for an AAU travel team and from there I just wanted to keep climbing to the next level to see how high I could get. Eventually my hard work paid off and I earned a scholarship to play basketball at Duke University. Duke had been my dream school since I was a little girl, so you could only imagine the level of happiness and excitement that I felt.
However, even though I had reached a level of happiness that I had not felt in a while, I was still suffering inside. During my senior year of high school, I felt physically and mentally “off” and did not know why. I was acting out at home with my family, not doing as well as I wanted to in school, and was not motivated to play the game that was once an outlet for me. After talking to my parents, I started seeing a therapist for a mental health battle that I had no idea was occurring. When mental health was discussed or brought up when I was younger, it was portrayed as the extremes that are shown in movies—a weakness that people could easily overcome if they put their mind to it. So being diagnosed with depression and anxiety was a little scary for me at first. I felt ashamed that I let this happen to me. I felt weak. I felt like a disgrace.
Throughout college, and more specifically my freshman year, I lost control. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore. During college, basketball no longer had my love, relationships were continuously destroyed, and I had no sense of who I was because I couldn’t manage my health and well-being. Even while going through all of these battles on my own, I somehow held a smile on my face in public. Nobody knew what I was going through.
Flash-forward a few years later, and here I am. I wanted to create this platform because I wish I had more knowledge about mental health when I was first diagnosed and trying to navigate my well-being. Over the last couple of years, I have been speaking out on social media about the importance of mental health also trying to spread awareness through my daily interactions with people. Many people have responded and have encouraged me to continue, which gave me the sense that I am not alone in this journey. If you are someone reading and can relate, you are not alone either.
As of right now, I am currently living in Maryland with my family. I am working as a medical assistant in an urgent care clinic and a medical scribe in the emergency department to gain patient care hours to attend Physician Assistant (PA) school in the future. I always found that my purpose was to help others, no matter how, when, or where. I believe that becoming a PA will allow me to do just that. And in the meantime, I hope that I can help others who may be struggling. You are not alone. We are not alone.