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  • Writer's pictureBayLeigh Routt

My Year In Review

My anxiety reached an all time high in halfway thru 2023. I’ve dealt with anxiety since I was a kid; by now I’m good at hiding it so a lot of people probably never noticed. For months last year, I dealt with intense levels of anxiety and awful panic attacks that persisted for way too long before it all finally blew up and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. With help and antidepressants (yay meds!), I was able to feel like myself again several weeks later. Ringing in the New Year has given me a chance to reflect on so many awesome things that happened last year:

1. I learned how to ask for help. As a chronic people pleaser and perfectionist, that’s always been difficult for me to do. The way people showed up for me and supported me reminded me that I should ask for help immediately—not when things reach a breaking point.

2. I contributed to some awesome projects at work with some of our biggest clients and I built stronger relationships with coworkers by collaborating on these projects.

3. At the end of the summer, I suggested we start a Fun Team Committee to help plan company events and coworkers + bosses supported this idea completely. Together we planned an amazing fall festival in October.

4. I had a lot of fun helping with our company’s float for the Christmas parade.

5. I walked twice a day almost everyday last year with the company track team. If you know, you know lol

6. I put myself out there and landed a part-time gig with the Lexington Sporting Club during their inaugural season! Talk about a fun and incredible opportunity!!!

7. Most importantly, I learned to the importance of taking care of myself and I recognized I shouldn’t be embarrassed that I feel big emotions so deeply or need help.

Three-year-old BayLeigh wearing a navy blue Old Navy baseball cap and a white t-shirt with a red bow on the chest. Her teeth are tinted blue from candy.
Three-year-old BayLeigh

In 2023, I found my power to grow and heal ... and it was in me all along. I share this because I know talking about mental health makes others feel less alone. A lot of people silently deal with mental illness and their struggles, thinking no one else understands. It’s easy to look at social media and think everyone has their shit together because we’re seeing their perfectly crafted highlight reels through rose colored glasses. You see someone’s post and wish you could be like them. We see their good times online, but we don’t often see they have struggles offline too. If you’re struggling, I encourage you to reach out to someone. I promise there’s someone who is ready to support and help you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI Lexington have some amazing resources.


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