Anxiety: My Story
If you've ever witnessed me being a complete mess (which is rare because I like to sulk in my problems in silence) then you probably know that I have really bad anxiety. Ever since I was a child I wouldn't let other people play with my dolls because I got stressed about them losing a shoe, or ruining their perfect hair. THAT'S WEIRD, I'm aware. Unfortunately no one really thought of it as anything. As I made it to my middle school years it progressively got worse. By the time I was in high school I got to my breaking point. I'm sure the fact that I was a teenager, and had drama at school didn't help. After a series of events and some extreme breakdowns I finally went and saw a therapist who confirmed that I did indeed have anxiety and that I should try taking medication for it. The panic attacks went away and slowly I started to feel better.
While I say that my medication does help, that in no way means that I no longer experience anxiety. Sometimes I still freak out about little things but for the most part I try not to express those feelings and can hide them better so I'm not having public melt downs. I'm an extremely talkative person, but when I have anxiety I shut down and have a million things going through my head so much so that I usually can't even put together words. When I have an anxiety attack I can't breathe. I feel like I just ran a marathon and I'm dizzy and all of a sudden I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and my chest. Sometimes I want to cry but no tears will come out, or I want to scream but no words will come out. It's like all of a sudden someone took the controls to my body and I can no longer function normally because I'm not in charge, my anxiety is. The worst part of experiencing this is not knowing why it's happening. I can have a panic attack and literally have nothing be wrong, I will go through everything in my head over and over again trying to pinpoint what I'm forgetting or what I'm supposed to be doing that's causing this feeling, but sometimes there is no reason.
I have this problem where I don't always like to share how I feel with others because I don't want to be a problem for them or cause extra stress to their lives. Sometimes I get nervous and will say things I don't mean, especially around people I care about. For so long I didn't want to accept that I had something like anxiety, but it's not something I created or made up, I was born this way and it's just one of my many characteristics that makes me unique. I see things differently than other people, and sometimes my anxiety even helps me with my attention to detail and always being on time (actually let's be honest, I'm always early). I worry about things more than others which sometimes is okay, but if you experience anxiety you know it's not easy. I like to remind myself that my situation is hard (and harder at times) but God only gives me what he knows I can handle. I know that there is someone out there who has it worse than you or I might, but I think it's also important to be reminded that your problems are not insignificant. In the big picture they might be but if it affects your happiness and quality of life then it matters. For so long in my life I had a very negative mindset, probably due to my anxiety. Thinking that everything isn't going to go good or that something is always wrong and that isn't a way to live. Now a days I'm completely fine with the fact that I have anxiety because the first step to dealing with a problem is admitting you have one, whether it's to a therapist, your parents, friends or most importantly to yourself. I think the hardest thing for me to this day is coping when I have these anxiety attacks. I'm surprisingly pretty quick on my feet under pressure, especially when I'm responsible for other people, but when it comes to caring for myself I don't always know what to do. Sometimes certain techniques work to calm myself down, and other times I just have to let it take its course and know I will feel better in a matter of time. Anxiety is something that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, having ups and downs, but that's just a part of life.