Things that make me anxious: tests, change, less than a quarter tank of gas, and being late. Just to name a few.
It’s really easy to let problems persist with no solution. To assume it’s just a ‘phase’. And to exist less than your best self because you believe that is all your best self has to offer.
How do you ask for help if you’re shameful of what you endure daily? Better yet, how do you ask for help if you’ve always believed that how you feel is just how you were meant to be?
I have anxiety. Constant anxiety.
It doesn’t define me but it is a part of me. It took me a long time to realize that. It then took me even longer to realize I could ask for help and that, while I might not understand why my brain is going a million miles a minute, people are willing to try and help me.
I am literally anxious about getting help for my anxiety, go figure. And some days, I’m anxious because I’m NOT feeling my normal anxieties. It’s exhausting.
While there are some days that the feelings are crippling and the thought of even sitting in class are unbearable, I can’t help but be thankful for those moments. (Tell me that when I’m having a bad day though and I’ll deny I ever said it.)
My anxiety has forced me to be self-aware and develop an incredible knack for being endlessly introspective. I could probably tell you why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling and then extrapolate that feeling out to more feelings.
And that in itself is a talent. I’ve even been able to simplify it as skills on my resume: analytical and self-aware.
I don’t think anxiety is uncommon but it’s definitely not talked about. Anxiety is a mental struggle and often times the people battling it, myself included, create an over-analyzed, lonely sense of self. Not many people are willing to uncover what’s really going on in their minds and understand what’s driving their incessant thoughts and worries. But for me it’s a self-imposed challenge that I’ll continue to face.
Whether my anxiety lasts for a few days, a week, or hell even an entire semester I try my best to be better and to recognize what my body is trying to tell me. I can accept my anxious state while also working to change it and make it better.
Anxiety doesn’t always have a rhyme or a reason, it’s just there. You can either numb it or face it head on, I’ve chosen to do the latter because you just can’t selectively numb. I’m not willing to lose out on feeling for the moments in my life that make me forget about my anxiety because It’s entirely possible to be anxious and happy. Sure, the days where you’re [trying] to experience both can make for a few more forced smiles than you are used to and social interactions that take a little bit more effort but it’s okay. Because bottom line is, I’m okay and you’re okay too.
I can’t predict the days that I wake up a total nut case but I can acknowledge it and I can ask for help. I can come to terms with the fact that this isn’t a phase or an exceptionally stressful week, it’s my life. Some weeks are a hell of a lot better than others but it’s a part of the equation for me.
This is my normal and some days that’s incredibly bothersome to me and I don’t think it’s fair. But what’s funny to me is that I’ve also been known to say that being idle is my worst nightmare. So which one is it? Does that mean I like being anxious or I don’t ?
It’s not that I like the feeling but accepting it as who I am has given me courage:
- The courage to be imperfect.
- The courage to be vulnerable.
- The courage to be able accept this as my now and give people the opportunity to talk about mental health and find a place and a meaning behind their feeling’s feelings.
Whether you’re having one bad day or years’ worth of struggle — The mental battles matter, and I’m competitive as hell so I want to win my mental battles.
The constant feeling of being uncomfortable, forces me to change and evaluate and adjust. To place time and emphasis on the things and people that quiet my ever-present mind.
My anxiety is my super power. My anxiety is my secret weapon.
Some days it’s debilitating and that motivates me to understand myself better and the people I surround myself. It propels me forward in school, my work environment and my relationships as I try to understand where the faults are and how to adjust.
It’s all important and it’s what shapes me as an individual; what makes me vulnerable, makes me beautiful.
At first I found it scary to openly admit that this was something I struggled with, then I was afraid to openly talk about it. But now I fear that people believe If you can’t see it, it’s not real. Mental health is important and it is real, so let’s talk about it.