Today’s #SameHere Hero: Sabriya Dobbins
Your typical high high achiever, grade A student, perfectionist. Everything had to be just so, & as that pressure grew, while her path she KNEW she needed to be on – becoming a veterinarian, fell through, she felt lost. That perfect world couldn’t be controlled be her anymore.
The loss of one of the most important ppl in her life, her grandma, while she was away, sent her spiraling, into many episodes of what she calls, “severe breakdowns.” But, she took time off, went to go live w her fiancé in Belize, did some soul searching, found herself, & formed an organization – Project Passport, that takes ppl on MH retreats, that more than anything, let’s them know they are not alone in their struggles. This is her story!
“It just took one more thing and I was going to lose it. I could not take it anymore. I had officially lost control of my life. I felt like a failure, a waste of space, and a loser. Everything felt like it was slipping from my grasp. I was hitting rock bottom.
How did a 4.0 college student who had internships lined up and too many leadership roles to count end up here? How could someone like me who supposedly had it all together get here? It was a spiraling process coupled with the day to day anxiety I faced.
I had to do everything just right. I had to be the perfect student. That was my value to the world right? That is all I was good at (that is what I thought). But then I realized that the career path that I was in was not for me during my junior year of college so all of the hard work and sacrifices to become a veterinarian felt like a waste. 3 years, down the drain.
My personal relationships were wavering. My mom and I had been on edge back and forth for years now. We were on the rocks constantly and I felt so much anger and pain towards her. My love life had been experiencing some complications as we had been together since the beginning of my college career; people were pushing us to take our relationship to the next level (marriage). The pressures of others rained down on me to be this “person.” Get married, get the job, get the degree. All of those words rang in my skull. I hated it!
The anxiety bug kept screaming in my ear. Reminding me about all of the things I lacked. Reminding me of all the mistakes I ever made. It made me feel as though no one really liked me and that people were disappointed in me no matter what I did. I screamed inside even when people saw a smile on the outside.
Then one of the greatest blows of all came. The loss of my dear grandmother whom I was very close with. I had traveled abroad at the time so I did not even get to see her body after she passed. I was heartbroken. I did not want to face life. I was done. Emotions shot. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. The walls closed in. Most days I was a walking shell.
This carried on and off even past graduation and into my first few jobs out of college.
I felt immense pangs of depression. I questioned my worth and value in this world. I felt like I had been trying to maintain a facade. I felt like I was desperate to see my grandma one last time. I couldn’t cope. My anxiety was through the roof at this point.
I was having nervous breakdowns by the week accompanied by uncontrollable tears. I was taking out my anger and pain on my love life and really anyone close to me. I felt like I had lost all control of my life frankly. I was freaking falling into the abyss and no one really understood.
I barely wanted to leave the bed most days. Honestly, I barely wanted to do anything besides sleep. I had to will myself to function. I had to be human. I had no choice.
I had a severe breakdown during my junior/senior year of college where I had to go to mandatory counseling. My counselor was amazing and I went to her a few times before she left my school for a new job. I stopped going to counseling even though I should have probably kept going. My anxiety and nervous breakdowns kicked into gear again on and off over the following year.
I decided to start seeking counseling my last semester of college. I was working a full time job and finishing up my degree. I got to a point where I knew it was time to seek help again. No one told me. I just knew I needed it or I wouldn’t be okay. My first counselor made me feel 10x worse but then I found my present counselor. She got me. She saw me. She saw my pain and gave it notice. Till this day, I go to her!
She helped me manage my anxiety with acknowledging it as it came. Pinpointing all of the areas and emotions I was feeling and addressing them one by one. I was the type that did not want to deal with or face anything but she gave me the courage to do so.
I ended up leaving my jobs to live with my fiance’ in Belize briefly and that was another awakening. I spent time with myself and in the silence. I meditated. I prayed. I wrote. I read. It was everything that I needed but that I never had time or energy for. I began to channel my energy, thoughts, and rebirth myself. I began to say to myself that NO ONE’s opinion about my life mattered except my own.
My mental wellness retreat company, Project Passport LLC, rose from the ashes. It was born from my pain. I wanted to help others deal with their own pain.
When I began to open up about my experiences with my own #SameHere story, people were grateful. They were empathetic and honestly, they were like ‘thank God’ because often times we feel isolated in our pain. I know for a fact that I did! I felt so alone in the journey at times. People are simply just glad that someone wholeheartedly understands their journey. They appreciate that even those who are seemingly successful have a rock bottom too.”