On Anxiety

On Anxiety

I think now more than ever I understand that cliché but true and honest quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky :

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

In the mornings, I am often plagued with fits of joy as I clear chores out of the way and laugh at silly texts from my friends. If the sun is shining on my way to school, I sing loudly along to my newly acquired FM transmitter which allows me to play whatever music my heart desires as loud as my ears desire for the first time in years in my car. I brandish my enthusiasm, ready to take on the day.

In the afternoons, when the assignments and duties pile on yet again, I find myself getting anxious. I make lists to organize my thoughts, in my head repetitively, and in all of my notebooks and calendars. My mind often wanders, whether due to my anxiety or my imagination, and listing will ensure that I don’t forget anything (at least that is my hope). When I come home from class I often find myself back in bed, overwhelmed by the list of things to do, knowing that I should start, but paralyzed still. Eventually I will rise from watching my favorite videos and get it all done.

I often have great times with my friends, smiling, laughing, talking as we eat at new restaurants, head downtown for drinks, or even hang out and have game nights at our apartment. On those nights I am so grateful, blissful, and unworried. I let my personality roam free, often becoming the loudest person in the room, but quite possibly also the happiest as I laugh at everything.

I often have anxiety when these occasions don’t go as planned. When situations are awkward or I am shut down in conversation, I fear for the worst, as if my friends all of a sudden hate me. My mind races from one moment to another analyzing what could I have done differently, why in the world did I said that thing, and should I apologize for it? And if I do apologize for it now, will it just make things worse? I go to bed, lying awake, questioning why I am the way I am and what everyone else wants from me.

And oh gods, my anxiety isn’t even that bad in comparison! That is possibly the worst of my thoughts. I have been told I may have a generalized anxiety disorder, but haven’t had it investigated further. I’m on a low dosage of anxiety medication and it’s helping; I have significantly less racing thoughts and panic moments than I did before. So why is my anxiety still sometimes debilitating when others have it to so much worse a degree than I do? It’s a hard thought to grapple with, but mental health is your own. I’ll get nowhere by comparison and neither will you.

But back to the point: I’m constantly barraged by good and bad thoughts, good and bad moments, good or bad emotions- I am both happy and sad and still trying to figure out how that could be.  And, honestly? I’m okay with that. I feel better than I have in years acknowledging my anxiety and getting to know myself better in dealing with it. I am okay, and in progress, and I hope you are too.


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